Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has denied telling students in the state who wanted him to bring down the huge tertiary institution fees in the state, to ‘go to hell’ if they cannot pay.
“False. I explained to NANS that we’ve settled on fees long ago. I directed that all schools allow students take their exams. Table the fee schedule with council first but if NANS still insists, I’m in full support of PEACEFUL protests. I was one of you when I was at GREAT IFE,” Akeredolu said via his twitter account on Friday morning.
The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) had, on Wednesday said it was prepared to draw a battle line with the Ondo state government if the tuition fee of the four state-owned higher institutions, increased astronomically, are not reverse.
The four higher institutions are Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba (AAUA), Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa (OSUSTECH); Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo and Ondo State School of Nursing, Akure.
According to the president of NANS, Bamidele Danielson-Akpan, AAUA school fees was N63,000 initially but the state government increased it to N200,000 before it was later reduced to N180,000 with a promise to revise it to normal in the next session.
“Also OSUSTECH was N70,000 and increased to N200,000, School of Nursing, Akure and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic fees were increased too,” Akpan said.
Bamidele Akpan said the governor was harsh to the students when they visited him and told the to go to hell if they cannot pay the school fees.
“We have used all channels to address this matter but it has proven abortive. The governor has been showing carelessness and insensitivity.
“After meeting with the governor on the need to address the issue, he displayed the highest level of arrogance by telling us to go to hell, that his decision is final and that he is not going to reduce the school fees.
“He (the governor said) said who ever cannot pay should go to hell that schooling is not by force. And this is somebody who benefitted from free education.
“The governor threatened us that he is ready to order the security men to flush us out if we dare protest. Whereas peaceful protest is our right. It is the last resort in negotiations.
“I saw arrogance at its peak in Gov. Akeredolu when we met we him. It looks as if I was sitting with Adolf Hitler. It seems as if I was sitting in the presence of Pharaoh.”