Students from various higher institutions of learning in Osun State, on Monday, protested hike in tuition fees in Osogbo, the state capital.
The students, in their hundreds, held motorists along Gbongan-Ibadan Road to ransom, as their procession caused gridlock on the highway.
What started as a peaceful protest eventually turned violent after a clash between the protesting students and security agencies, when teargas canisters were; used to disperse the students.
The students were; however, able to overpower the security agents at the entrance of the state secretariat, which houses the governor’s office and barricaded the entrance for hours, thereby effectively halting movement in and out of the secretariat.
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Information, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa. in a statement, described increment in tuition fees as untrue.
He urged the students to handle reservations on increase in some fees payable in their institutions with maturity, sense of responsibility and reality of the situation at hand.
“Government put it on record that it has not authorized any increment in tuition fees in all state-owned tertiary institutions and that only ancillary fees were; increased by authorities of institutions, based on some considerations.
“As at today, the tuition fees of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and the College of Technology, Esa-Oke remain N25,000 while that of Osun State College of Education, Ilesa and Ila-Orangun is; still N20,000.
“It is; pertinent to remind the people that the (Governor Rauf) Aregbesola administration, at its inception and without being persuaded, in 2011, reduced tuition fees of all state-owned tertiary institutions from N45,000 to N25,000.
Since the reduction in 2011, government has not put a penny on the tuition fees. Government wishes to state that managements of tertiary institutions are; at liberty to fix extraneous fees and are responsible for its regulations; it insists that tuition fees are yet to be; increased.
The Aregbesola administration reiterates its commitment to promoting functional; and affordable education, the manifestation of which is; the improvement in the standard of education in the state.
“The government called on the students to be; peaceful and orderly in their protest. It is true that protest is; legitimate but, they should not be allowed to be hijacked by miscreants and political jobbers,” he said.