BY ISAAC OLUSESI
The convoy of Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola was last week held hostage in Osogbo by students in the state secondary schools.The incident which occurred some metres after Odo-Osun bridge, Gbongan-Ibadan Road, Osogbo, while Oyinlola was returning home on his only familiar route after the day in the office, had students in a large number calling the governor unprintable names. Sachets of ‘pure water’ were also rained as missiles on the convoy.The students accused the governor of playing politics with the state qualifying exams for the West African School Certificate (WASC) examination due for the 2006/2007 academic year.
They claimed that sitting for the qualifying exams annually organized by the state government is the government’s standard for a student to become a registered candidate and beneficiary of its payment for the actual WASC exams.
OSUN DEFENDER learnt that the qualifying exams in out-going school year was scheduled to hold in the daylight in the respective schools but the state government deliberately chose to extend the exams timetable to the dusk without notice to the affected students vide their school authorities.
According to the students, the untoward attitude of the government was to deprive many students the opportunity of sitting for the qualifying exams that ended last week in order to reduce the government expenses on the registered candidates for the WASC exams.The differential in the amount of money which the government earmarked for WASC exams and what is actually paid on the WASC exams, the students reasoned, “would be embezzled by a few within the corrupt-ridden PDP government in the state.”
Further investigations by OSUN DEFENDER revealed that question papers arrived late to the examination centre at Fakunle Comprehensive High School, Osogbo due to paucity of fund.The more reason the examination which was slated for 8.am could not be made available until 5.00pm after majority of the students had left the centre.
It was learnt that while the aggrieved students were ruminating over their plight at a spot close to Osun River., Oyinlola’s convoy was coming from Abere, the seat of power.
A source close to the scene explained that the aggrieved students started calling the governor unprintable names and pelted his convoy with satchets of ‘pure water’.
“It was at this juncture that security operatives in the convoy of the governor arrested some of the students, carried them to Abere where they were beaten to stupor,” he said.Further investigations also revealed that the three principals of three secondary schools within the premises of Fakunle were quizzed over the incident.
It was also learnt that the government was planning to demote the affected principals with a threat that the Oyinlola administration won’t pay for NECO examination of the affected schools as he pledged during his campaign.
Meanwhile, the government, last week, hastily invented pre-degree programmes to be run in the University of Osun (UNIOSUN) and put the cost of admission forms at five thousand, one hundred naira only (N5,100).Students in the state and beyond prospecting for admission have expressed that the cost of the pre-degree forms is outrageously on high side and threatened to vandalize the pre-degree forms advert banner hung on a commercial bank opposite Fakunle Comprehensive High School I, Osogbo, remarking that the governor is only interested in extricating further the economically depleted prospective students of the university that is structurally yet to take off.
Investigations revealed that the government had earlier collected three thousand naira (N3,000:00) from well over 100,000 prospective students who already obtained the UNIOSUN entry forms besides the cost of JAMB form which was also borne by the cursory prospective students unsuspicious of the cupidity of the state government.
It would be recalled that this newspaper recently reported that UNIOSUN was taking off fraudulently to enable the government repay the much publicized N2bn allegedly borrowed from a commercial bank for the university project.
The huge loan, OSUN DEFENDER learnt, was allegedly divested to railroad Oyinlola back in the Bola Ige House, Osogbo, through the April 14 election that is still being contested at election petitions tribunal currently sitting in Osogbo.