THE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Tuesday alleged that the Ondo state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, is of a deliberate ploy to destroy the education system in the state through the introduction of obnoxious policies.
The Student’s association who stated this during a press conference at Press Center in Akure, also frowned over governor Akeredolu’s attitude toward the leadership of the association, alleging that the governor walked out on the student’s body during a meeting on Monday night.
Addressing journalists, the NANS President, Mr Danielson Akpan Bamidele, explained that the leadership of NANS visited the state to intervene and convince the state government to relapse its new policy of “no tuition no test” introduced by the state owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA)
Bamidele said the governor never listened to their plea but only walked out panther saying, the student leadership had never been that embarrassed like Akeredolu did to them.
Bamidele however, said the students are set to slug it with the governor over his stance on the tuition of the state-owned universities and polytechnics, saying Nigerians students are ready to take their future in their hands following the hard stand of Akeredolu to yield to their demands.
Bamidele who led students’ Union Presidents and other leaders from FUTA, AAUA and other tertiary institutions to the governor’s office on Monday to mediate on the issue said the present administration in the state has been making life difficult for both parents and students in tertiary institutions across the state.
According to him, the governor has 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 who ever cannot pay should go to hell that schooling is not by force. And this is somebody who benefitted from free education.
He said the governor threatened to order his security men to flush them out if they dare protest over his action and said “We have come to the point whereby we will not allow any government to begin to run any state especially the part of it that affects us directly in the manner that pleases him or her.
“That is the state we have found ourselves in Ondo State where a governor who was elected to sustain the norm, to sustain the democratic principles of the state, one that has been in existence of long before he became governor, a solid and positive one at that. He should not only sustain it but improve on it.
“But this is different with Akeredolu because the first thing he wants to do when he came into office was to destroy the fabrics of the society. Starting from the health sector, the relation between the government and civil servant and to our amazement, the educational aspect.”
He said further “Ondo State is known for producing best of the best when it comes to education in this country. It is the bedrock of the country when it comes to education.
“Since the return to democracy in 1999, Ondo State has made education available for all. From the primary level to secondary level.
“Adefarati came he initiated the free education policy, Agagu came he sustained it. Mimiko spent two terms, he consolidated on it but Akeredolu came and destroyed all of that. He didn’t stop at that, he went further by saying he will no longer pay WAEC fee for students of this state, knowing fully well that it does not cost the state anything to take care of that annually.
“If it did not cost the three predecessors that came before him anything then he should not complain.
“Mr Governor told us he will no longer pay WAEC fees. Again he said education should be commercialised in the state. That is the peak of it. No state can thrive without education.”
“As if that wasn’t enough, the governor increased the fee of Adekunle Ajasin University from N33,000 to over N200,000. It took enormous efforts to compel him to reduce it to N150, 000 and above with a promise that he will bring it back to where it was after that period, which he never did.
“To our amazement, his government did not only fail in his promise but told us (students) to go to hell that the increment had come to stay.
“Two weeks ago, the management of Adekunle Ajasin University implemented the policy of “No Fees, No Test.” It has never been done in any part of the world. Students are allowed to write their test no matter how much they pay. The worst is that they won’t write exams, not test.
“History has it that Barack Obama got education freely and he later paid back to the state later in life when he became a senator.
The likes of Awolowo did it during his own time, he educated the people.
“Why should we have somebody who once benefitted from that benevolence that comes to the helms of affairs and insisted that education have to be commercialised. Collectively, we must say no to that.
“The governor increased OSUSTECH school fees from N70, 000 to almost N200, 000 with over 500 ratios. What has been the ratio of the salary of these children?
“Our girls are now involved in immorality just to pay their school fees. Students are now decreasing from the classrooms due to inability to afford the exorbitant fees. Departments that used to have over 100 students can no longer boast of 30 students.
“Also, what is happening in the Ondo State School of Nursing is a complete fraud as the students were promised to be awarded degrees in nursing but they were only given the certificate of nursing after paying for a degree.
“We have used all channels to address this matter but it has proven abortive. The governor has been showing carelessly, insensitivity.”(Tribune)