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…..Students vow to sustain the protests
By: Oluwatosin Adesola
It was like war scene today in the heart of Akure when anti-riot policemen on Wednesday fired teargas on the protesting students of the Ondo State Universities who were demonstrating over the hike in their tuitions.
The teargas canisters caused many of the protesting students to retreat from Oba Adesida road/Oja oba axis, – the popular meeting point for the demonstrators since on Tuesday’s morning.
The students mainly from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) and the Ondo State University of Science Technology, (OSUSTECH) Okitipupa have been calling for a downward review in their school fees increased by over 200% by the managements of the institutions.
Some of the students who spoke with SUNSHINETRUTH claimed that many of them were sustained various degrees of injuries after the police’s attack.
As the protests entered the second day, the students mobilized to shut down the popular Arakale road and NEPA area as they sang different solidarity songs and carried placards of bearing different inscriptions, even as residents and commuters were stranded for several hours in the capital city as result of the riot.
A student from the Adekunle Ajasin University, Miss Ibidapo Adefunke, who was affected by the teargassing, said the police have always been an enemy to mass action saying that nothing will discourage the them.
“You can see the police using all the force they have use. You witnessed it. This has been a peaceful protest, but the police are making it as if it is a war zone.
“They have just fired teargas on us and we have to run for our dear life but we will not relent. We are would surely come back and We say Aluta Continua” she said.
Addressing journalists, Comrade Samuel Adesomoju, President of the Students Union Government at Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, described the teargassing of the Protesting students who had been peaceful in their demonstration as inhuman, callous and height of oppression of the armless students.
Comrade Adesomoju noted that the students’ desmostrators would not succumb to police brutality, noting that they had all resolved to “say No to increment in their school fees”.
He added that the students remain resolutes in their struggle to ensure that the astronomical hike in the fee is downwardly reduced.
“This is unjust and it is inhuman and both AAUA and OSUSTECH have all been at home for three weeks now. We are saying No to all the satanic increments in our Universities by Governor Akeredolu’s government”.
“We have tried all we could to make the Governor understands us but he has failed to listen. He showed he is recasitrant, arrogrant and draconic”.
“The Governor has been threatening to flush us out but we say No to this becuase we need reductions on our school fees.
“We have mineral resources in Ondo state but the governor has failed to look into them hence he is chasing after how to plant cannabis”, the SUG President insisted.
“We are telling him now to increase the subvention giving to our school so that the standard of learning can increase and improve in Ondo state.
“And for peace reign, we are calling on the Governor to reduce the hike in our tuition in tertiary institutions of the state” he said.
Also speaking, Mr. Kowe Odunayo, a former Chairman of Joint Campus Committee (JJC) of the National Association of Nigeria Students berated Governor Akeredolu for the hike in school fees of the students.
Mr. Odunayo, however, said that the protesting students would resist all means by the state government to commercialize every levels of education in the state.
After use of the teargas by the police, the angry students were not allowed to return to the roads as free flow of traffic return to the capital city around 2:30pm on Wednesday but the students vowed to return to the scene to continue the protest on Thursday.
Below is the full text by the management of AAUA on Wednesday’s morning:
The attention of the Management of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, has been drawn to some wicked and malicious lies being peddled against the Institution by some unscrupulous elements.
These apparently compromised elements are alleging that Adekunle Ajasin University has, once again, increased fees payable in the institution. Specifically, they are saying that school fees have been raised to N250,000 per session.
While we do not want to speculate on why they are toeing this path of lies and infamy, Management wishes to state firmly and unequivocally that:
1. There is no new increase of school fees in AAUA.
2. Current school fees in AAUA range between N80,000 and N150,000.
3. The students are allowed to pay twice i.e. between N40,000 and N75,000 per semester.
4. The demand during the recent protest of students was for the University to allow those who have not paid their school fees to write tests/examinations while they pay their school fees later.
5. Parents and Guardians are advised to ensure that their children and wards pay their school fees without delay, especially since they have the option of paying twice over two semesters.
For the avoidance of doubt, the schedule of school fees charged in AAUA, with effect from April 2018 range between N80,000 and N150,000 per year, depending on course or level of study.
The above figures were negotiated with relevant stakeholders, including the students and their parents, and finalized in April last year. It is instructive to note that almost a session has passed since then and students have paid without any issue.
It is, therefore, surprising that some people are now coming up with issue of reduction in school fees – an issue that was negotiated, agreed upon and finalized in 2018, a period of over a year ago!
Management is hereby urging members of the public to note that the school fees payable in Adekunle Ajasin University remain as negotiated with the students since April last year.
All lies, insinuations, and rumours contrary to the above stated facts should be ignored and discountenanced, please.
Ag. Registrar, AAUA