The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has said it was prepared to draw a battle line with the Ondo state government if the tuition fee of the four state-owned higher institution increase astronomically, is not reverse.
Mr. Bamidele Danielson-Akpan, the President of NANS, who stated this in Akure, the Ondo state capital said the student’s body will give governor Rotimi Akeredolu a 24 hours ultimatum to do the needful.
The four higher institutions are Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba (AAUA), Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa (OSUSTECH); Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo and Ondo State School of Nursing, Akure.
Bamidele, who berated the governor for his hash policies on education in the state, added that the burdens of paying higher fund as forced some students to drop out of school while other resorted into untowards jobs.
“Since the return of democracy in 1999, Ondo State Government made free education available for all from primary to secondary level.
“Adefarati came and initiated that policy, Agagu came to sustain it, Mimiko spent two terms he consolidated it, so Akeredolu should not only sustain it but improve on it.
“AAUA school fees was N63,000 initially but the state government increased it to N200,000 before it was later reduced to N180,000 with a promise to revise it to normal in the next session.
“Also OSUSTECH was N70,000 and increased to N200,000, School of Nursing, Akure and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic fees were increased too.
“WAEC, which used to be paid for by the state government, has been stopped without apology to anyone.
“Gov. Akeredolu should please help our students, who do not have hope to be educated as a matter of urgency, he should revise all the school fees of the state’s higher institutions to the initial fees.
“We are giving him 24 hours ultimatum to do that because we are not ready to fight him but to yield to the yearnings of the students and their parents.”
According to the NANS President, the student’s body has used all the available channels within its reach to ensure the Governor comply with their demands of reducing tuition at the four state-owned institutions.
He also explained how Governor Akeredolu walked the students’ leaders out of his office in Akure, the state capital during a dialogue meeting with him on Monday.
“We have used all channels to address this matter but it has proven abortive. The governor has been showing carelessness and insensitivity.
“After meeting with the governor on the need to address the issue, he displayed the highest level of arrogance by telling us to go to hell, that his decision is final and that he is not going to reduce the school fees.
“He (the governor said) said whoever cannot pay should go to hell that schooling is not by force. And this is somebody who benefitted from free education.
“The governor threatened us that he is ready to order the security men to flush us out if we dare protest. Whereas peaceful protest is our right. It is the last resort in negotiations.
“I saw arrogance at its peak in Gov. Akeredolu when we met with him. It looks as if I was sitting with Adolf Hitler. It seems as if I was sitting in the presence of Pharaoh.
“Even when we met with President Buhari, he did not address us in such manner.
“But it is surprising that a governor whose power is limited within a state could put up that show of arrogance.
“Two years is too long to chase him, it is now upon us, parents, students, artisans and entire people of Ondo State to stop this.”
But reacting, Olarewaju Akeredolu, the National President of National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOSS), said that NANS president was only in the state for “personal glorification” and not in the interest of the students.
“When he got to the meeting, he accused the governor of not supporting his ambition as NANS president, that governor Akeredolu should donate a bus to him,” he said.