Northern youths threaten to shut region over hike in tuition fees
The Coalition of Northern Groups, Students’ Wing (CNG-SW), has threatened to shut down the North over the arbitrary hike in tuition fees by tertiary institutions across the Northern states.
National Coordinator of CNG-SW, Jamilu Charanchi, at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, expressed worry over the attempt by federal and state governments to commercialise education, to the detriment of less-privileged Nigerians.
He noted that institutions such as Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, in the North East; Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, in the North West, have adopted over 100 per cent increase, and Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBU) in the North Central with over 60 per cent increase.
“The CNG Students’ Wing hereby condemn, in the strongest terms, the hike in tuition fees as untimely, immoral, unconscionable, the height of insensitivity and unacceptable attempt to deny the children of the poor access to affordable education, entrench class dichotomy and widen the gap between the rich and the poor.
“We find it ridiculous and sad that stakeholders, particularly the lawmakers, cannot summon the courage to speak or stand with the people that sacrificed so much to see them in office at these trying times, to demand an immediate reversal of the hike. When people who are elected into offices are indifferent or afraid to speak up for what is right and just, then the situation is hopeless,” they lamented.
Charanchi urged governments at all levels to revert to the old fee, to enable students from poor and marginalised families access tertiary education and break the chain of poverty.
The group appealed to the students to be law-abiding in the quest to seek reversal of hike, adding: “We equally pray the government to listen to the cry of innocent Nigerian students within three weeks to stop us from speaking in a language that the government understands. All state coordinators should be on the alert for further directives from the national secretariat.”