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Fee hike: Ondo students’ protest enters second day

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The protest over hike in tuition fees embarked upon by students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, entered the second day on Tuesday in Akure.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the students have been protesting since Monday against hike in their tuition fees ranging from N25,000 to N35,000, to between N120,000 and N200,000.

The protest, which paralysed economic activities for four hours, caused traffic gridlock as Oba Adesida Road to Banks Road toward NEPA area were blocked by the students.

Speaking with newsmen, Tosin Ijanusi, the President of AAUA Students Union Government (SUG), said the protest would continue as long as the state government refused to reduce the fees.

NAN reports that the students carried different placards with inscriptions such as: “No Increment of Our School Fees”, “Do Not Sell Our School” and “Students Say No to Fee Hike”.

Ijanisu told newsmen:“We will continue until the state government reverses its decision.

“We hope they will call us, and if they do not, we will continue.’’

The student leader thanked some market women that joined the day ’s protest, saying it would attract more people on Wednesday.

Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Akeredolu, the President of the National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOSS), said the new tuition fees were unfair to the students.

Akeredolu said he was optimistic that it would be reversed.

One of the market women, Mrs Funke Ademeso, said that market women were in support of the students because it would be difficult for parents and guardians to cope with the new tuition fees.

Earlier, Dr Tunji Abayomi, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council of AAUA, said that the state government was spending over N5 billion to run the university yearly.

Abayomi said that this was a lot higher than the institution’s total income, which stood at N2.71 billion.

He insisted that time had come to save the university from total collapse, which necessitated the increase in the school fees.

The pro-chancellor said that the state governor, however, had the final say on whether to maintain the new fees or review it downward.

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