Students of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, AAUA, and their counterparts from the Ondo State University of Science and Technology, OSUSTECH, Okitipupa, on Tuesday, converged on Akure, the Ondo State capital, to press home their demand for the reduction of their tuition.
The students, who barricaded the popular Oba Adesida road in Akure metropolis, partially disrupted commercial activities during the protest.
In their agitation, the students demanded that the Governor of the state, Olawarotimi Akeredolu, should either reduce what they termed as outrageous tuition or resign.
Recall that the two institutions had been shut since April following series of protests by students over the “outrageous” fees and the “No fees/No Test-Examination” policy introduced by the institutions’ management.
During the protest, vehicular movement and commercial activities were paralysed for hours as commuters were forced to trek to their destination.
While the blockade of the road was on, placards of various inscriptions were displayed as some of them chanted series of solidarity songs.
Some of the placards read, “Akeredolu Reduce or Resign;” “No Reduction, No Resumption”; Education Must Be Free”; “Say No To N250,000.”
The Students’ Union President, AAUA, Samuel Adesomoju, vowed that protest would continue until Gov. Akeredolu reduces the fees.
According to him, “We are here to make our demand known once again.
“We are telling Gov Akeredolu that our school fees must be reduced now because there will be no resumption if the fees are not 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.”
Adesomoju added that, “We are sending him a clear message today that, we will not leave this road until he reduce 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.”
Addressing the protesting students in his palace, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo commended the students for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner during their demonstration.
The monarch, who spoke through his Chief of Staff, Prince Toyin Aladetoyinbo, assured the students that he would communicate their grievances to the governor.