Students from various higher institutions of learning in Osun State on Monday went on the streets of Osogbo, the Osun State capital to protest a jack up in their tuition fees.
The students, in their hundreds held motorists along the Gbongan-Ibadan road to ransom, as their procession caused gridlock on the highway.
What started as a peaceful protest eventually turned violent after a clash between the protesting students and security agencies , where teargas canisters were used to disperse the students.
The tensed atmosphere therefore made the protesting students to overpower security agents at the entrance of the state secretariat, which housed the office of the Governor, which was barricaded for hours, halting movement in and out of the secretariat.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Information in the state, Mr Adelani Baderinwa in a press statement described the said increment in tuition fees as untrue.
He, however, advised the students to ” handle their reservations for increase in some fees payable in their institutions with maturity, sense of responsibility and reality of the situation at hand”.
According to him, “government put it on record that it has not authorized any increment in the tuition fees in all the state owned tertiary institutions and that only ancillary fees were increased by institutions authorities based on some considerations.
“As at today, the tuition fees of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and the College of Technology, Esa-Oke remain N25,000 while that of Osun state College of Education, Ilesa and Ila-Orangun isstill N20, 000”.
“It is pertinent to remind thepeople that the Aregbesola government, at its inception and without being persuadedin 2011 reduced the tuition fees of all the state owned tertiary institutionsfrom N45, 000 to N25, 000. Since the reduction in 2011, the government has notput a penny on the tuition fees”.
“Government wishes to state thatthe managements of the tertiary institutions are at liberty to fix extraneous feesand are responsible for its regulations; it insists that tuition fees are yetto be increased. Government of Ogbeni RaufAregbesola reiterates its commitment to promoting functional and affordable education,the manifestation of which is the improvement in the standard of education inthe state”.
“The government called on the studentsto be peaceful and orderly on their protest. It is true that protest islegitimate but they should not be allowed to be hijacked by miscreants and political jobbers”.