Chief Rotimi Ibidapo, a businessman and philanthropist, has condemned the recent destruction of public property by students of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State. He said while he is a firm believer in fundamental human rights such must be done with a great deal of responsibility.
He supported the decision of the state government to make the students accountable for the destroyed properties. He particularly expressed concern over the maltreatment of some lecturers who were on campus during the riot:
“I condemn in the strongest terms, the actions of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic students in destroying public properties. The incident was embarrassing and unacceptable from our youths who are the future leaders of Nigeria.
“I am of the opinion that our democracy allows for the freedom of expression, lawful assembly and peaceful civil protest but that right must not degenerate into the destruction of school properties worth millions of Naira and the assault on some lecturers on the campus.
“As a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria and a disciplinarian, I will never condone indiscipline and uncivilized conducts. I associate myself with the action of the state government in resolving all the issues relating to the student unrest and in particular that the students must be accountable for the consequences of their actions.
“The rumour that I have undertaken to pay the cost of damages to public properties on behalf of the students is untrue and irresponsible. The statement credited to me is a ruse and an attempt to tarnish my reputation by mischief makers as a result of my popularity and general acceptance by the good people of Ondo State (Ondo North Senatorial district).
“The permutation is that I may aspire for public office in the next election, hence the need to defame and discredit me well in advance of 2019. However, the plot has failed.”