Nigeria: Ibadan Poly Shut Down as Protesting Students Mar Ajimobi's Inter-Denominational Prayer Session
8 June 2011
Ibadan — The Polytechnic, Ibadan was on Tuesday shut down indefinitely by the management of the institution following unruly behaviour of students of the school who embarked on a protest at the Government Secretariat, Agodi, in the Oyo State capital at the time the newly-sworn in Governor of the state, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi was officially assuming duties with an inter-denominational prayer session at the state secretariat complex.
The Polytechnic students, in their hundreds, had stormed the State Government Secretariat, as early as eight o'clock in the morning, disrupting free flow of traffic as they rained abuses at Government, complaining against high tuition fees whcih they wanted the new administration of Senator Ajimobi to reduce.
For several hours, the protest marred the inter-denominational prayers while the security personnel attached to the Government Secretariat hurriedly closed all the major gates leading to the complex thus preventing several civil servants and other stakeholders from gaining entry into the arena. Policemen on ground had a hectic time preventing the students from allowing breakdown of law and order as they chanted various songs, imploring the new government to slash down the high fees imposed on them by the out-gone administration of Otunba Adebayo Alao- Akala.
The institution's management, in a statement issued and signed by the Registrar, Mr. Tosho Ayanwale announced that the Polytechnic had been closed down until further notice saying that "the closure was as a result of the lawless attitude of the students, who invaded the office of the Oyo state Governor."
"The management has consequently directed all the students of the institution including those in Saki and Eruwa campuses to proceed to their various homes until further notice," the statement said.
In addition, the management advised parents and guardians "to call their wards to comply with the directive of the management which takes immediate effect".
As the protesting students refused to disperse following pleas from the security personnel around, armed policement were compelled to fire tear gas into their midst and later arrested about four of them in order to bring calm to the riotous situation.
However, before the protesting students were tear-gassed and dispersed forcefully at about 11.00 a.m., one of the Faculty presidents of the institution spoke tyo newsmen saying that the immediate past Alao-Akala administration had raised their school fees astronomically, making the fresh HND !! students to pay over a hundred thousand naira.
Hear the students leader: "The fresh HND 1 students are made to pay about N84, 000 while the stalites pay N47, 500. The hostel accommodation is N17, 500 and we hardly have electricity supply and water. There are no facilities in the hostels, yet the management is forcing us to pay. This is unacceptable to us. We have paid 60 per cent of the fees and they are compelling us to balance up within a week. We cannot agree with this. Governor Ajimobi had before his inauguration promised to remove 50 per cent of the fees. We have paid even more than half of the fees and so we are calling on the governor to address the situation."
Addressing workers at the inter-denominational prayer session marking his assumption of office, Governor Ajimobi gave glory to the Almighty God for giving him the opportunity to be in their midst just as he remarked that it was their prayers and intercessory vigils that made it possible for the state to have a peaceful transition from one government to another.
Governor Ajimobi appealed for continued support of religious leaders in the state saying their prayers, more than ever before, aredesirable "in line with the maxim that whatever God has made perfect requires prayers, in order for it not to lose its splendour; while in another breath, anything that has lost its splendour also requires prayers for it to be made perfect."
He reiterated his inaugural pronouncement that the presenty administration would seek to restore the glory of Oyo State by placing priority attention on Human Capital Development encompassing education, skill acquisition and healthcare delivery as well as Infrastructure development and Rural development and integration, among others and concluded that Government can only achieve these goals with the support and cooperation of the civil service.
To this end, he assured that the administration's plan to run an all-inclusive government is unshakeable and implored the entire workforce to join forces with Government to recreate Oyo State and turn its fortunes around.
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