Protesting students from the two Ondo state-owned tertiary institutions, on Tuesday took to streets in Akure, the state capital, protesting over the obnoxious policies in their schools and increase in the fees of the institutions by the state government.
The students who converged on the busy Oba Adesida road as early as 7 am paralysed commercial activities, hindering vehicular moment for about four hours during the protest while they turned the road to a playing field.
The protesting students from the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko(AAUA) and Ondo State University of Science and Technology(OSUSTECH) Okitipupa were armed with placards of various of inscription, such as; ”No Reduction, No Resumption’ ; ‘Akeredolu Reduce school fee or Resign’ ; Education Must Be Free’, Say No To N250,000″ among others.
Speaking with newsmen during the protest, the students union President of AAUA, Samuel Adesomoju, said the protest would continue until the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu reviews and reduces the fees.
Adesomoju explained that the current fees of N250,000 which was increased last year have failed to improve the infrastructural facilities in the state while parents of the students continue to pay through their nose.
He said “We are here this morning to make our demand known once again. We are telling Governor Akeredolu that our school fees must be reduced now because we will not resume until the fees are reduced.
” It is our right to have education but the governor is gradually taking it away from us with his policies. If the governor wants to generate revenue, he should look elsewhere not our Schools.
” We are sending him a clear message today that, we will not leave this road until he reduces the fees and he should not have in mind to open the schools without reduction. We are going to resist it.
” You can see we are here but not the governor’s office because he(Akeredolu) has said he will flush us out if we dare protest.”
Also speaking, a former NANS JCC chairman, Kowe Odunayo, berated governor Akeredolu, for the increase in school fees, but said that the students would resist all attempt by the state government to commercialise education in the State.
He said: ” Education is our right and we are here fighting for it. We want to put it to governor Akeredolu that if he does not reduce the fees, there will be no resumption, he should know that.
” We read that during his time in the university if their chicken was not enough, they fought for chicken, not school fees. Unfortunately, these set of people who enjoyed those things then cannot provide education.”
The protesting students who also visited the palace of Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo, were commended for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner.
The monarch who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Prince Toyin Aladetoyinbo, said education is their right and must be made affordable to everyone in the society no matter the financial situations in the country.
He, however, assured the students that he would take their grievances to the governor towards reducing the school fees.
The two institutions had been shut since April following series of protest on campus by the students