The institution was shut down indefinitely, last week Tuesday on the orders of the embattled Governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko, who was a visitor to the institution.
The students consequently had embarked on a two-day wide protest at the front gate of their school, paralyzed academic activities and demand for the immediate reduction in the outrageous hike on their tuition fee.
The students in conduction with the Joint Campus Committee (JCC) of NANS, have been protesting at their institution in Okitipupa for a month over poor conditions of the University.
The tuition fee was skyrocketed by the state government led by Mimiko, to N125, 000. 00 for indigene, and N175, 000. 00 for non-indigene.
But on Wednesday, the aggrieved students took their protest from Okitipupa to Akure, the commercial hub of the state capital, in six coaster buses to the governor’s office in Alagbaka.
The protesting students, who were all armed with placards chanted solidarity songs for several hours and heaved abuses on the Mimiko-led government in the state.
Some of the placards bear different inscriptions such as: “Open Our School With Immediate Effect”, “Reduce Our Tuition Fee With Immediate Effect”, “Constitute Our Governing Council Now”, “We Need-Good Roads-Power Supply-Transportation-More Faculty-Sport Centre-Infrastructure Development”, “N125, 000 & 175, 000 Why”, “Save OSUSTECH”, among others.
Armed Police officers deployed from the A Division, of the Akure Area Command, made barricade and prevented the protesting students from gaining access into the governor’s office at Alagbaka, Akure.
The barricade forced the protestors to disrupt the free flow of traffic at the entrance of the gate to the governor’s office, thereby preventing vehicular and human movement.
Security officers, manning the entrance prevent movement in and outside the office and shut down the gate to the governor’s office.
Many of the students who spoke gave a graphic description of the institution as a “glorify secondary school” despite money levied on them adding that the school was in a pitiable condition.
They also decried the dilapidated infrastructural facilities in the school stressing that the state government has neglected them, despite heavy pay for school fee.
“Just visit the school, you would cry for us. Everywhere is bushy, the intra-road network are bad. There is no water, electricity and even modern library. They health centre is moribund. Our lectures are not even being motivated. We are silently suffering”, one of the students, said.
Apart from the hike in their school fee, some of the students accused the Mimiko-government of ‘totaling neglecting the southern area of the state’ without any meaningful development.
Speaking on behalf of his protesting colleagues, the acting student leader of the institution, Comrade Henry Adewunmi Okunomo said the students had had enough of government lackadaisical attitude to the pitiable condition of the school.
Okunomo noted that the students of the institution had been complaining about the unfavorable policies, government neglect, and management witch-hunt, and dilapidated infrastructures in the institution but with no meaningful result.
He disclosed that the students had last month given the state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, a 14-day ultimatum over the outrageous increment in their school fee, a situation he said an indigene pays N125, 000 and non-indigene pays N175, 000, before resulting into a wide protest.
“We had earlier given a 14 days ultimatum to the state governor, Olusegun Mimiko after the students leaders of the institution met with him to table our grievances. Surprisingly, the governor dares us, and the ultimatum has elapsed.
“We decided to protest last month in the front of our campus to show our sadness over the outrageous increment in our school fees by the state government that is already sending our parents to untold hardship.
“Sadly enough, instead of the state government to find lasting solution to this hike, the state governor immediately sent an order that our institution be closed down indefinitely. Now, we are in Akure today, at the governor’s office precisely to ask Mr. Governor why he decided to closed down our school and we too decided to move down to Akure and asked him why the closure”, he said.
The student leader also accused the management of the institution of being a stooge to the governor adding that the students were surprised that many of the staff members who were earlier backing the in their protest had withdrew as a result of threat to disengaged them from work.
The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Joint Campus Committee, (JCC), Ondo and Ekiti Axis, Chairman Odunayo Kowe, who also spoke lamented over the hike in the tuition fee, said the present administration in the state has failed to impact positively on the institution.
Kowe said the institution has been left in its own ghost as no meaningful development could be pin-point in the university adding that all infrastructure in the school is obsolete.
An aide to the governor, who is the adviser on Union Matters, Dayo Fadahunsi, who later came to pacify the protesting students, was booed out when he accused the protestors of not being students.
This angers the students as they resulted into name-calling, accusing all government officials of being “stooge” to Governor Mimiko while Fadahunsi quickly walked away as the argument became hot.
Police officers barricading the entrance to the governor’s office had to quickly dispatched the protesting students with teargas of canisters and molested the little ones who still stayed behind while others were arrested.
It was later learned, that some of the arrested students were released after verifying their studentship.
The Students have vowed to return their protest if the state government refused to access to their plight and conditions.