OAU Students Protest Tuition Fee Hike, Shutdown Institution

OAU Students Protest Tuition Fee Hike, Shutdown Institution

Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

Students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, yesterday besieged the entrance gate of the institution and shut down the school over the refusal of the management to reduce the recently increased tuition fees.

The protesting students expressed their determination to continue the protest until the school authorities revert to their previous fees, stating that the fee increase shows a lack of empathy.

The students also asked the federal government to allocate the funds from subsidy removal towards education instead of allowing an increase in school fees.

Led by the leadership of the Great Ife Students’ Union, Abbas Akinremi, the students who shut the entrance gates in and out of the school, preventing workers from accessing the campus, called for a 50 percent reduction on the original fee and installment payment activation.

While speaking, Akinremi said: “We have demanded the 50 percent reduction in our fee from the school management and this is what we are standing on, and we threatened that if our demands are not met, we will make sure we shut down the activities of the school and also shut down the activities on our federal roads and even state roads as far as Osun State is concern.

“So we met with the school management last week Monday, and after stating our demands, it was stated that we can only achieve 15 percent reduction which is far beyond what we demanded, so at the moment, Great Ife students are out here to protest and show our dissatisfaction and displeasure on this school fees increment because it isn’t affordable for anybody provided that aside from the school fees, the accommodation has also gone up and there are hundred thousand professional levies that have been mandated or imposed on student of the College of Health Sciences and Pharmacy.

“So we’re here today to stage a peaceful protest; it hasn’t been violent, and we’ve started since 7 a.m., and till now, we haven’t recorded any violence or any casualties, it has been a peaceful protest against both the federal government and the management of the Obafemi Awolowo University.

“We have declared that this protest will continue until the management is ready to engage us or the federal government is ready to come in to assist the school management in giving them the necessary funds that is required to run the school system.”

Reacting to the protest, the Public Relations Officer of the school, Abiodun Olarenwaju, commended the peaceful protest of the students, urging them to prevent hoodlums from hijacking the demonstration.

He said: “I expected them to channel their grievances to the appropriate authorities like the Federal Ministry of Education, and Finance, even the Chief of Staff to the president.

“We decided to reduce the initial chargeable fees when the leadership of their union persistently demanded re-negotiation. We considered and we held meetings with them and we told them that the 50 percent you are asking for will not be realistic in the long run.”

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