Food Poisoning: Covenant University Students ‘Hospitalised’

by J.J Olawuyi

Several students at Covenant University in Ota, Ogun State, have allegedly been admitted to hospitals due to suspected food poisoning in the institution’s dining facilities.

According to multiple sources interviewed by PREMIUM TIMES, the university’s medical center is facing challenges coping with the high number of affected students.

Despite the severity of the situation, the university has chosen to remain silent, with calls and messages to relevant officials going unanswered for an extended period.

Confirmation from a parent
A parent residing overseas confirmed the incident during a telephone conversation with PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday. The parent, requesting anonymity due to concerns about the child’s potential victimization, revealed that their child, although initially affected by the food poisoning, is now recovering well and is in a stable condition within the school.

“We have faced difficulties in reaching our child since receiving the news. However, earlier today (Saturday), we managed to connect with our child, who confirmed being affected by the food poisoning but is now recovering well and fairly stable.”

Other sources lament secrecy
Additional sources also verified the incident but expressed dissatisfaction with the university’s decision to keep the matter confidential. An anonymous former employee of the university criticized the institution, stating that it should have openly addressed the issue “to alleviate tension,” emphasizing that the current lack of transparency does not benefit the university.

Phone ban complicates communication
The ban on phone usage by students, implemented years ago by the university’s founder and General Overseer of the Living Faith Church, David Oyedepo, has complicated communication efforts. Students found with phones on campus face sanctions, limiting their ability to connect with others. While computer tablets are provided for academic use, access to various websites and social media platforms is restricted. The prohibition on phone use has made it challenging to communicate with students, particularly during the ongoing crisis affecting the institution.

Elusive university response
Efforts to obtain reactions from university officials regarding the cause of the food poisoning and the management of the situation proved unsuccessful. Calls were avoided, and messages were left unanswered by the officials. The university’s Head of Media and Public Affairs, Chichi Ononiwu, exhibited evasive behavior, cutting off the call when the incident was mentioned and refusing subsequent calls. Other journalists reported similar experiences when attempting to seek comments from Ms. Ononiwu.

History of incidents
This is not the first time Covenant University has faced a food poisoning incident on its campus. A similar occurrence was reported in 2010, resulting in the hospitalization of numerous students. Newspaper reports from that time confirmed the incident.

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