OPPOSITION political parties and human rights groups in Osun State have flayed the decision of the Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led administration in the state to effect a hike in the school fees of students of tertiary institutions in the state, saying that the policy was aimed at OPPOSITION political parties.
The policy was described as one of the tactics usually employed by the conservatives to continually keep their subjects in control by making it impossible for them to have easy access to education that can widen their horizon and make it possible for them to know their rights.
The state chapter of the Action Congress (AC), National Conscience Party (NCP), Joint Action Forum (JAF) and Democratic Socialists Movement (DSM) made the condemnations against the backdrop of the recent hike in the school fees of the tertiary institutions in the state.
It would be recalled that students of tertiary institutions across the state embarked on a peaceful protest in Osogbo, the state capital on Monday, where they expressed their dissatisfaction with the increment in their tuition fees.
In a statement issued by the AC Director of Research and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere and made available to OSUN DEFENDER in Osogbo on Thursday, the party cited the decision to fix the tuition fees by the state government that are beyond the reach of the poor, for the recently established Osun State University (UNIOSUN), saying that the decision was what made other tertiary institutions within the state to arbitrarily increase their fees.
The statement read: “Osun State as it were is predominantly a civil service state which economy cannot sustain such high fees being charged by the state university and other tertiary institutions; but Oyinlola will do himself a lot of good if he reverts his anti-people policies of increasing the fees today.
“Since fixing the roof-top fees for Osun University, which even surpasses amounts charged by some notable private universities, almost all other tertiary institutions in the country have taken a cue from this evil policy and increased their fees, leading to several students dropping out of schools or turning to negative tendencies like prostitution, armed robbery and political thuggery.
“Governor Oyinlola should request for the list of students admitted to Osun State University and crosscheck to find out how many of them are from families residing in Osun State. If the government’s policy is to establish an elite school, it must be clearly stated that the schools are not made for the generality of the people of the state as it ought to have been.
“The peaceful protest by the students of the affected state’s higher institutions should be taken by the authorities concerned as a way of obtaining justice and as such, quick and immediate solution should be found to the problem”, AC insisted.
Osun AC then urged the Oyinlola-led administration to allocate sufficient funds that will help sustain the tertiary institutions, instead of wasting state funds on what it called endless globe-trotting, political appointments which an brought negative effects on the standard of living of an average Osun citizen.
Also, the NCP state secretary, Comrade Ademola Bankole said that the decision of the Oyinlola-led administration to increase the fees is a way to directly punishing the parents who have children in the state-owned tertiary institutions.
He then threatened that his party would make moves in ensuring that the increment in the school fees is reverted in order to allow the younger ones have access to bearable tuition fees.
In their separate reaction to the increment, the state Chairman of JAF, Mr. Aderemi Ayanlade and the DSM Coordinator, Barrister Alfred Adegoke said that the state government has acted against the will of the people and the development of the state.
They stated that the decision of the Oyinlola-led administration has suggested that the current administration in the state has made up its mind to ensure that the people of their state are made to suffer, saying that the increment is purely anti-people and it should be reverted.
The activists then threatened to join force with the students of higher institutions in the state if the government refuses to revert its decision, insisting that if the increment is allowed to stay, it would surely increase the level of illiteracy and poverty in the state.