Travellers stranded as students protest

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
May 22nd, 2014
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Students of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Tuesday, took to the streets to protest the proposed hike in fees. Isaac Ibikunle, a 500-Level Law student and Students’ Union president-elect, led the demonstration.

The protesters caused gridlock on the Ife-Akure Highway, leaving travellers stranded for hours. The students also prevented vehicles from passing at Ipetumodu Junction, which is opposite the Oduduwa University.

The protesters played football on the expressway and sang solidarity songs to express their displeasure.

Travellers going to Abuja, Ondo, Lagos, Ibadan and Ekiti came down from their vehicles after they were prevented from proceeding with their journey.

They protesters, who displayed various placards, were joined by post-graduate students whose fees have also been hiked. They chanted anti-management songs, saying that the proposed increment was aimed at killing their poor parents.

The inscription on the placards include: “Omole’s increment is Boko-Haramic”, “Omole, There is God oo” and “Fee hike is daylight robbery”, among others.

Ibikunle said that after exploring all avenues to make the management see reason and reverse its decision, students had no option than to take to the streets. He said: “We will not destroy anybody’s property in the course of the protest. But the management must pity our parents; this is not a private school.”

The chairman of the Murtala Muhammed Post-Graduate Hall, Chris Falola, said most of his colleagues applied for their Master’s degree because of their unemployment. “How would they pay the exorbitant fee?” he queried.

A protester said asked: “How could Prof. Bamitale Omole, who led a protest against anti-people policies as an undergraduate, introduced the same policies as Vice-Chancellor?”.

The students later moved through major roads in the ancient town and stopped at the palace of Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.

They were received by 11 chiefs, who assured them that the monarch would look into their matter.

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