Politics

Amosun moves to meet demands of protesting OOU students, hands over buses to unions

Amosun

Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has doused the tension generated by protesting students of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), who are demanding further reduction and immediate implementation of the new school fees announced for state-owned tertiary institutions as he has assured that their grievances would be addressed within one week.
The government had this week announced a 61 per cent reduction in the school fees payable by students in the 10 state-owned tertiary institutions, a decision which was greeted with appreciation by nine of the institutions while only the OOU students demanded an adjustment in the implementation period.
Amosun, who yesterday first met with representatives of the Student Union Government of the university, led by its President, Ifade Olusegun at his Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta office later went to address the protesting students at the MKO Abiola International Stadium, Kuto.
The governor told them that the committee that worked on the school fees reduction would once again address their demand and get back to him in one week.
Amosun, who also presented 13 brand new buses to the 10 state-owned and three federal institutions as well as the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS) assured the students of his government’s commitment to the development of education in the state.
He, however, admonished the students to always channel their grievances peacefully and through official means, frowning at the unruly behaviour of taking to the streets in the name of protest.
“The whole education system in the state had collapsed when the present administration came on board and we had to start from somewhere by making both primary and secondary education free and heavily subsidizing tertiary education.
”We are Ogun State, the first to have access to western education where things are done with enviable standard. No Ogun student is expected to behave in an unruly manner. I am your governor, I will discuss with you even 100 times as long as you are ready but I will not discuss with protesting students on the streets. I am not happy with the way you are seen on the streets disrupting the peace of others.
“There are better ways to channel your grievances. I am a student-friendly governor. I was not the person who increased this school fees you are talking about. Even this reduction we are talking about was not arrived at with violence but after deliberations which lasted for about two months with your leaders. You should fight any government that wants to bring division into your midst as students or use you for political reasons”, he added.
Amosun said on assumption of office, his administration had to pay the backlog of salaries of these institutions staff, stating that “the ten per cent reduction I did in commemoration of my 100 days in office was in fulfillment of my promise during campaign. But the committee that worked on this new 61 per cent included all SUG presidents of various institutions such that I had to do further reductions on two occasions and removed the indigene/non-indigene dichotomy when they brought their reports to me.
Responding, Ifade, who thanked the governor for giving them audience and for all the kind gestures to the institution, advised his colleagues to remain calm and be law abiding and see the governor who is a man of integrity who will keep his words.
While expressing appreciation to the governor on behalf of the entire tertiary institutions for the buses, the SUG President, Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Comrade Sunday Osas said the governor has fulfilled his promises in various ways without failing the students, promising that, “We would remain focused to becoming good leaders of tomorrow and supportive to the programmes of the present administration in the state.”

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