BREAKING: Fee hike protest rocks Ondo as students ‘shutdown’ capital

Students protest the hike of their school fees in Akure, Ondo State on Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

Adesola Ikulajolu

Students of two Ondo State owned institutions, Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko and Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa have “shutdown” Akure the state capital to protest in the hike in their tuition fee.

They paralyzed every business and commercial activity on the popular Oba Adesida road in Akure. gathered that the students gathered in Akure, the state capital as early as 6am and were joined by the counterparts from other institutions.

The protest currently ongoing is to demand for reduction in their tuition fee.

Recall that the two state owned institutions were shutdown indefinitely following a mini protest that rocked their campus over tuition fee saga.

The two institutions went on Mid-Semester break which has now being declared “till further notice”.

However, the protest currently going on in Akure has the joint efforts of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Ondo Axis, has learnt.

Carrying placards bearing different inscriptions, such as: “Akeredolu Must Resign”; “Reduce Our Tuition Now”; “No To 250k Reduce Or Resign”; “No To Hike To Or Increment”; “Education Must Be Fee”, the students said that education must be made affordable in government owned institutions in Ondo state.

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Speaking, Oluwafisayomi Abimbola, a student leader from Ondo State University of Science & Technology, said the students had all resolved to kick against the obnoxious hike in the tuition of state’s universities.

Comrade Abimbola who addressed journalists during the protest noted that the increase in their tution was to further improvish their parents stressing that they cannot pay the new fees.

“We are here to protest against the hike in our school fee from N70,000 to N250,000 and we are saying total No to this obnoxious increment.

“We are saying our parents cannot afford it, they are civil servants and they earn peanut as salaries.

“The government is not even paying the salary as at when due. Imagine, we don’t have infrastructures in our schools and no lecture classes too.

“And yet they want us (students) to pay such huge amount of money as tution and there are no subvention released to upgrade the system.

“At Ondo State University of Science and Technology in Okitipupa, we are really suffering and we they want us and our parant to pay. We say No.

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“It is unfortunate that the only thing the government of Rotimi Akeredolu could think of at this time is rename our university but we say No to it” he said.

Samuel Adesomoju, the President of the Students Union Government (SUG) of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, condemned the hike in the tution of the institution.

Mr Adesomoju described the astronomical increment as ‘satanic’ noting that the entir students in the ondo state government own school would continue to be on the streets until their school fee is reduced.

“Already, they have closed down the two institutions in Akugba and the one in Okitipupa but we too have resolved that until they reduced the fee (tuition) we shall continue to be on these streets and agitate for our right.

“We say No to fee hike and we want to promised the government that we shall come back here on the street tomorrow if they failed to listen to our demand. Let them bring soldiers, we shall await them here” he said.

Addressing the protesting students, the Deji of Akure kingdom, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo, said the students have the right to protest but pleaded with them not to take the law into their own hands.

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Oba Aladetoyinbo who spoke through his Chief of Staff (COS), Mr. Toyin Aladetoyinbo, said he would take time to meet with the governor on the demands of the students over the reduction in their tution.

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