Nigeria: OOU: Amosun Should Follow the Path of Honour
By Mobolaji Odunuga
The Ogun state chapter of Labour Party condemns in strong terms the closure of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, by the government of Ogun state over the students’ agitation for immediate reduction in their school fees.
According to a press release announcing the immediate closure of the institution signed by the secretary to the state government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, the government claimed the closure was in overall interest of peace and order as the students of the higher institution have continued to issue threats while rejecting all entreaties and concessions made by the government on their various demands concerning the recently announced reduction of school fees in the state.
It would be recalled that on Tuesday, 12th August, 2014 the Commissioner for Education on behalf of the state government announced a reduction in the school fees of students of the tertiary institutions beginning from 2014/2015 academic session after the Lagos State Government did same for the students of Lagos State University but Ogun state students kicked against the decision saying the reduction they wanted shouldn’t be less than 40% and it should be with immediate effect, not next year as said by the state government.
Students in their thousands trooped to the streets of Abeokuta in peaceful protest against the policy but instead for the governor and his agents to embrace dialogue in resolving the matter another set of students was sponsored by them to disrupt the legitimate protest and attack the protesting students.
As if that was not enough, the governor was said to have engaged the service of thugs who unleashed terror on the protesting students and instructed the police to tear gas and arrest them.
It was gathered that scores of the students sustained various degree of injuries while some were arrested and detained.
The governor who later addressed the protesting students on the second day of the protest promised to resolve the matter within 7 days but failed to rather, the closure of the institution was announced.
The party feels it’s bad on the part of the state government to sponsor students against each other as the merit of democracy is for people to express their views and be heard not’ bullying of the students as the practice was during the military era. It won’t be a surprise if the governor instructs police in the state to start arresting members of the opposition parties as politicians in the opposition camps in the state have been accused of aiding the protesting students.
We in Labour party implore Mr Governor to follow the path of honour by keeping his promise to resolve the issue as being done in the civilized world because it will be unfair not to consider the students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye who have just resumed the 2012/2013 academic session and cannot wait until 2014/2015 academic session before benefiting from the said reduction.
SA Media to the Chairman
Labour Party, Ogun state.