Students in Ekiti State on Thursday trooped to the streets to
protest against high school fees in state-owned institutions.
Acting under the aegis of the Federation of Ekiti State Students Union and the National Association of Nigeria
Students, they also alleged that the policies introduced by Governor Ayodele Fayose were anti-masses.
Some of the placards they carried read, “Ekiti Students Pass Vote of No Confidence in Fayose,” “Primary/Secondary Education Must Be Free In Ekiti,” “Ekiti Bursary, Nothing But A Scam,” “Blackout in Ekiti State University”, “College of Education, Ikere Ekiti Fees Must Be Reduced” and “No To N50,000 Acceptance Fee at College of Health Technology, Ijero.”
The protest, they said, was to coincide with the 19th anniversary of the creation of Ekiti State as well as to inform the public about the “bad government policies” in education
The protest, which caused traffic at Ijigbo roundabout, did not escalate as security operatives prevented hoodlums
from hijacking the action.
FESSU National President, Peter Obayemi, lamented that students no longer had access to bursary from the state
government, while accusing officials of the state scholarship board of shady dealings.
Obayemi claimed he was detained on the orders of a top government official in the state because of his agitation for
the payment of their grants.
He said the student bodies would no longer tolerate intimidation by any government official no matter how highly placed, saying the Fayose-led administration had already declared war on students by its actions so far.
Obayemi said, “We should let the world know that Ekiti State Government has neglected students. They organised an
education summit and they refused to invite students and instead they invited artisans, okada (commericial motorcycle) riders and market women.
“We are saying no to privatisation of public schools in Ekiti, we reject all sorts of fees that have been reintroduced in public schools.
“Government used to pay WAEC fees for pupils, but this government says it will no longer pay the fees. We reject all these anti-student and anti-education policies.
“Many students have lost the joy of being admitted to the College of Science and Health Technology, Ijero Ekiti as they
were unable to pay the N50,000 acceptance fee before the deadline.
“The Ijero College of Health Science and Technology is the only school paying such an outrageous acceptance fee of
N50,000 that is non-refundable and this does not guarantee their admission.”
A NANS executive member, Oluwabunmi Aduloju, condemned the detention of FESSU leader by the state government.
He also criticised an alleged policy introduced by the scholarship board that all students of Ekiti origin must come
to Ado Ekiti to collect their bursaries.
The Vice-President of the Ekiti State University Student Union Government, Sunmisola Ogunleye, said, “For the last one
year, EKSU students have been in a blackout and all attempts to address the issue by the leadership of the student body have proved abortive.”