Tuition fee hike: OAU students threaten campus shutdown
The President, Great Ife Student Union of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Akinremi Ojo, has said students of the institution may shut down activities on campus if the recent increase in school fees is not reversed.
Ojo, who spoke with journalists on the campus of the university on Monday, said the management of the institution had remained silent since it announced the new fee regime last week Wednesday.
The Student Union President said that during the last congress of the union, it was resolved that the management should reverse the increment in school fees, and directed all financial institutions to suspend payment from OAU pending the time the union would write to them, otherwise, their branches in Ife and OAU campus would be shut down.
According to him, the congress also agreed that the university management be given a five-day ultimatum beginning from Friday to engage the leadership of the union on the issue.
The student leader, who said the plan to shut down activities on OAU campus would be extended to other institutions across the country if the management refused to reverse the increment, rejected the claim that the hike was necessitated by the Federal Government’s decision to stop funding universities in the country.
He insisted that from available records, OAU still ranked among the top 10 institutions in the country, receiving funds from the federal government.
He further said, “As much as we don’t want to, we are currently running out of options and might have to shut down all activities on campus and progressively on all campuses throughout the country if the school authorities remain silent on the issue.
“While the school authority’s go-to excuse for school fee hike is that the federal government has stopped funding OAU, the recent release dated 15th of September listed OAU as number 9 of the top 10 funded universities with a budget allocation of N13.4bn.”
When contacted, OAU Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju, urged the students to know and act within their limits.
He said, “In the first instance, we have made our intention known to the parents, guardians, and students and it is not within the purview of any student to shut down the university.
“They have the right to protest. It is a fundamental human right under the Nigerian Constitution. They can demonstrate without being vandalistic, but they should also remember that they are matriculated members of this university.
“So, they are on matriculation oath and the student that violates his or her matriculation oath knows what is next.
“It is not a threat. You can dictate your actions, but you may not be able to dictate the consequences. We want the students to know and note that inasmuch as they have youthful exuberance to exhibit and demonstrate, they must also know their limits.
“If they want to engage the university administration, they are free, we are open to dialogue, we are open to negotiation. We will adjust and re-adjust.”Punch