Scores of students of the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko (AAUA), Ondo state have taken to the streets in protest over the hike in their tuition, Sahara Reporters learned on Monday.
The protesting students marched through the popular Oba Adesida road to Alagbaka in Akure, the Ondo State, preventing a free flow of traffic as they register their displeasure.
The students were armed placards bearing various inscriptions as they chanted solidarity songs in their procession, which grounded commercial activities in the state capital.
The students said that the fee increase of 500 % was unacceptable as their parents would not be able to pay.
The students were also joined by their colleagues from other institutions who were mobilized into the state to show solidarity over the hike in the tuition fee.
They called on the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu led the government to urgently reverse the increase in school fee or face their wrath.
One of the protesting students, Iyabo Adebimbe, lamented the increment in the tuition, arguing that many female students may be lured into crime or prostitution due to the inability of their parents to pay.
“Before, we (students) were paying between N25, 000 and N30, 000 but now it has been increased to N120, 000 and 180, 000 which is just too much to bear for us and our parents.
“This increment shows that the state government being led by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu wants us to result into prostitution and other forms of crime which could destroy our future. I learnt my of our colleagues are already dropping out of the system because they can’t afford it”, She said.
The management of the Adekunle Ajasin University had last week released the tuition fees for both the old and new students of the school for the 2017/2018 academic sessions with an increase of over 500%.
Sahara Reporters obtained a list of the new tuition, which shows the increased from N25, 000 to N150, 000 for some students while some departments have been billed to pay N180, 000.
In the lists, the old students of Education Management are to pay N120, 000 while new students would be paying the sum N150, 000.
The old students of the school in the department of Accounting, Economics and Faculty of Law are to pay N150, 000 while the new students will pay N180, 000.
It was earlier gathered that a meeting to resolve the crisis between the students and management of the institution over the hike in the school fee was deadlocked on Sunday night
Olawale Ijanusi, President of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the Adekunle Ajasin University said the protesting students are out to kick against the astronomic hike in the tuition by the government.
Comrade Ijanusi described the new fee of N120, 000 and 180, 000 that was newly introduced by the management as outrageous and unacceptable to the students.
He disclosed that the students’ union leaders have directed the entire students’ populace of the university to remain at home and not pay the new fee being introduced by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
“We have directed all our students not to pay the new fee as the increment is too exorbitant to bear, and anyone who pays does that on his own,” he told our correspondent on the phone.
Adewunmi Adebowale, the Chairman of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) Joint Campus Committee (JCC), Ondo axis, said the current situation in the country would not guarantee the students to pay the large amount for tuition fee.
Comrade Adebowale added that the Adekunle Ajasin University students have been strongly advised not to pay the new the school fee as it was anti- students policy.
“Because it is in total disregard to our long agitations and a shocking alliance for our state government and the school management to pile more hardship on the indigent Nigerian students,” he said.
The students vowed that they would continue to ground the state until the government reverses the hike in the tuition.