The recent hike in fees of Ondo state-owned University of Medical Sciences, UNIMED, Ondo has been met with a stiff resistance, as a group, Sunshine Liberation Front, SLF has threatened a showdown with the state government unless it reverses the hike.
In a press release signed by its Media and Publicity Officer, Olugbenga Ajogbonlo which was made available to SUNSHINE HERALD, the group accused the state government of “inflicting more pains and wreaking further havoc on the already destabilized pysche of the citizens of the sunshine state” since Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu became governor.
According to the new fee structure which was seen by SUNSHINE HERALD, 100 – 600 level students will start paying between N350,000 and N530,000 as against the previous fee of between N182,000 and N375,000.
It will be recalled that the state government had also increased tuition in state owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, a move which resulted in protest by students of the institution who shut down Akure, the state capital for a week.
“Was it not months ago that the students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, their parents and concerned citizens took to the streets of Akure, Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja and other parts of Nigeria to protest the over 400% increment in their tuition? A school reputed to be the best amongst the rest and whose students and graduates continue to break national and international academic records even as the least paying public institution in Nigeria.
“Arakunrin Akeredolu and his cronies have come up with another means of extorting Ondo state students in particular and Nigerian students in general with this newest path to raking in more internally generated revenue. A student paying a little above #200,000 may not return to school if he doesn’t have over #450,000,” Ajongbolo said.
The group further accused Akeredolu of planting his men in the state institution’s to do his biddings, and thereafter reward them with elective positions in the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“It’s no longer strange and new that the hatchet men for these heinous crimes against humanity and right to education are being promised and rewarded with juicy political posts. Dr. ‘Tunji Abayomi, who championed the arbitrary increment of AAUA fees, which resulted into thousands of students dropping out of school, is gunning for a senate seat to represent the district where majority of these ‘unfortunate’ students hail from.
“Dr Eyitayo Fawehinmi, who is currently vying for a seat at the National Assembly too, is the Chairman, Governing Council, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo. He is spearheading the outrageous tuition increment to satisfy his boss in exchange for a House of Representative ticket in the forthcoming 2019 general elections, at the detriment of the students and their struggling parents,” the statement further read.
They thereafter asked for a reversal in the hike of the
“We therefore urge Arakunrin Akeredolu to reverse this anti people policy or face mass action as we won’t hesitate to ground the state to a halt by peacefully protesting this wicked, evil and inhumane anti progressive plan to shut the doors of education to the underprivileged ones in the society,” they concluded.
Efforts by SUNSHINE HERALD to speak with the Commissioner for Information, Yemi Olowolabi proved abortive, as numerous calls put to his line were not answered.
When the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Segun Ajiboye, was also contacted last night, he promised our reporter he will get back to him this morning after speaking with the information commissioner. He has not gotten back as at the time of filing this report.