The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has condemned in strong terms the police brutality and the inhumane treatment of some students of Olabisi Onabanjo University who protested the draconian and obnoxious policy of the Ogun State government and the university management.
The students had organised a peaceful protest to resist an attempt to make education inaccessible to the poor. The university authority, even to the past administration of Prof Aare Wale Olaitan allowed flexible fee payment pattern for indigent students, however the current Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Saburi Adeyemi without adequate notice that the policy that encouraged instalment and suspended payments would be abolished, decided that students that are yet to pay school fees would not be allowed to write examinations.
Reacting on behalf of the Coalition, its Executive Chairman Debo Adeniran censured the Ogun State government for its sadistic and anti-poor people educational policy.
“We wonder why some ACN governors who rode on the back of the masses to power could become so monstrous overnight. School fees are hiked without recourse to plight of the average Nigerians yet the students are not expected to react, if they do the next thing is for government to release its security personnel after them. Every responsive and responsible government listens to its people, they do not just talk down without expecting reaction. Ogun State government should reverse this sadistic and anti-poor people educational policy that is capable of running the future of thousands of students into untold jeopardy. We learnt that about 5, 000 students are affected, our question is what does the government stand to gain if those students fail? It is a well known fact that instalment policy is the most appropriate in a country like ours where most are living below poverty line. This is the only way to put university education within the reach of the poor and the disadvantaged Nigerians,”Adeniran stated.
Speaking further, the human rights activists condemned the arrest of some leaders of the institution’s students union and demanded for their immediate release.
“The quelling of the peaceful protest of the Ogun State University students is like killing an ant with a sledge hammer! Opening fire and throwing canisters at harmless students is highly condemnable. As well-meaning Nigerians, we demand immediate release of the arrested students and call on Ogun State governor to address this seeming aberration”.
Media Officer, CACOL
23 May, 2013