*THE EXORBITANT TUITION FEES IN OUR INSTITUTIONS AND THE NEED TO HAMMER THE AGITATION FOR REDUCTION DURING THIS ELECTIONEERING PERIOD IN ONDO STATE*
*BY ADEGBEYENI OLUWAFEMI (BARRYFEM)*
*(STUDENTS’ UNION PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER OF ADEKUNLE AJASIN UNIVERSITY,AKUNGBA AKOKO, ONDO STATE).*
In the spirit of aluta, I bring greetings from the information house of the students’ union of AAUA to all Ondo state students home and abroad. Happy new month to you all!
Education may be defined as
the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.
It is undeniable that education is a necessity in our society, especially in a country like Nigeria.
Many want to get themselves educated and secure good places in life. In Nigeria, the masses see education as the hope of getting out of despicable situations which the government already placed them.
As good as it may be, discouragements set in from many areas.
Some of the discouragements are listed below;
lack of employment after graduation,destablized
political system where half baked or illiterate majority rule over professors or highly educated personalities all in the name of federal character.
Another big blow that set many back from education is unaffordability of education/payment of exorbitant tuition, which is going to be the main focus here.
This open letter is directed to all Ondo state students schooling in Ondo state institutions and those schooling outside the state.
Up to the reign of former Governor Olusegun Mimiko(Iroko) till the emergence of the incubent Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Aketi), we had affordable tuition fees in our institutions . Below was what we paid then;
before the emergence of Governor Akeredolu, we had the figures blow;
AAUA – N35,000.
OSUTECH – N70,000
UNIMED – N182,500
RUGIPO – N45,000.
Before his Excellency came on board, he promised vehemently not to increase tution fees in Ondo state of which many believed in his words as a man of integrity.
Unfortunately, Ondo state Students got the greatest shock when Mr Governor increased the tuition fees to the skies and now we have the figures below;
during Governor Akeredolu’s tenure, we have the figures below till now;
AAUA – N150,000 –
OSUTECH -N150,000 – N200,000
UNIMED. – N280,000 – N350,000
RUGIPO – N98,000.
The exorbitant tuition fees made many students in Ondo state dropped out and lots were exposed to severe hardship, finding means to meet up.
The devastating policies affected the final year students and many lost hope.
Several agitations set in from the students Union body of various institutions in Ondo state.
A good scene was that of the protest on the street of Akure. I could remember what the Governor did instead of listening to our pleas.
Both the union leaders and vibrant students stormed the street of Akure to say no to the evil. Instead of diplomacy, the Governor fired back and ordered an open fire where men of Nigeria Police Force shot at students. Some of the students sustained gunshots, some were harrassed.
I was with the then students Union President of Adekunle Ajasin University, as his SA on media, on the same street of Akure with lots of students demanding for a total reduction in the fees.
Devil came to the scene when the men of Nigeria Police Force released tear gas into the air and students ran helter- skelter. The Student’s Union President flew the fence and when I tried to follow suit, I almost fell into an open well.
Most of the students were arrested and tortured for demanding for “if not free, but affordable education”.
There is no gainsaying that Mr Governor and most of our politicians today, enjoyed free education.
Now, it is the time of election, students are shouting “vengeance”. They want the tuition fees reduced.
It is good to remember, people are after who and what can give them freedom and relief them from pains.
Laughable! it is, when we heard that one former President of NAOSS who made little or no impact when he was in position, was going about impersonating Ondo state students. With his hungry and foolish team, he has been going to institutions to fake one form of support for the re-election of the incubent Governor.
We must point it out clearly, that Ondo students have been grieved and made to face political tribulation in their land.
Some Union leaders tried in the agitation while some betrayed the students for their pockets.
Those we expected to pacify “the new god” of Ondo state, who is the governor, never did. Some of them are now giving advice on who and who should be supported.
Many expected the first lady of Ondo state to swing into action by pleading to her dear husband to consider the students, but we got taciturn and abuses instead.
She visited a federal University in Ondo state and ridiculed the students of Ondo state.
I trust the Former first Lady of Ondo state, Mrs Olukemi Mimiko(a caring mother), she wouldn’t do that.
A clear call to all the students of Ondo state is that this is the time to rise up for action, time to shun pessimism and stay in solidarity with the union leaders.
Some of the students already lost interests in the union leaders. Especially, during the time some Students’ Union Presidents were caught displaying readiness to support the incubent Governor for his re-election bid.
Thousands of students voiced out against the mischievous actions of their leaders. The Union Presidents regretted their moves and released a circular of “no support” for the governor until the reduction of tuition fees is effected.
There was another purported circular from the SA to the governor on the readiness of Mr Governor to reduce tution fees when election time is closer.
It is time to stand up from our fears and move into action. We must tell them that we aren’t fools.
Just like I said in my question to a governorship aspirant in Ondo state that, we don’t want mere promises again.
There is integrity in the bar and they are members of the bar. Words coming out from them should not be that of deceit and lies.
The incubent Governor promised never to increase tuition fees and he reneged on his promises.
If anything is going to happen, we call for a meeting with the union leaders where a solid agreement in form of a memorandum of understanding would be signed for the reduction of our tution fees immediately.
We aren’t waiting till election is over before taking actions.
If they aren’t ready to reduce our tution fees, I urge the greatest students of Ondo state to get ready to participate in the upcoming election in Ondo state.
Do not resign to fate, do not conclude that they are going to rig the election!
Lets take the bull by the horn and decide our fate!
Starting from now, lets begin to sensitive our family and friends on what we want.
Lets us begin to speak and act in solidarity! For United we stand, divided we fall!!!
May the spirit of Aluta protects you all!
©️COMR. ADEGBEYENI OLUWAFEMI (BARRYFEM)
(ASTUTE UNIONIST AND THE STUDENTS’ UNION P.R.O OF AAUA).