Last week, the protest staged by OOU Students in Abeokuta brought the Governor out and he asked for 7 days to look into the issue. On Thursday, the Students Union representatives were invited to Abeokuta for a meeting, a meeting that ended late that night and continued the next morning. The OOU SUG insisted that the Governor must meet the exact reduction we want and not the political reduction he announced and that more importantly, it must be implemented this session and not next session as announced.
By Friday night, it was clear that the meeting would have no common ground since the state Government wasn’t prepared to shift ground. The OOU SUG representatives came back and the silence that came back with them told the student populace everything they needed to know. Speculations had been ongoing and the silence only fuelled the speculations. The announcement made by the Ogun state Government ordering the closure of the university however told the students the full story.
Let us get something straight; we cannot for any reason accept the closure of our university just because we asked for a reduction in the tuition fee being paid and asked that it should be implemented this session. The Ogun state government claimed that more than 70% of students have paid the fees and it would be difficult to return such fees. It’s a lie! We do not even have close to 40% of students that have paid these fees; if the state government has a contrary opinion, let it present it.
A government that really cares about its youths like the Ogun state government claims will not lie to them (and lie about them), refuse to heed their cries, send policemen after them like dogs and lock down their school.
The Ogun state Governor is about to learn for himself the indomitable spirit of OOUites that he has heard so much about. Last week, the crowd of OOU students he saw in Abeokuta was so shocking that he said opposition sponsored the students. With his latest move, he will see how resolute OOU students are, how unbreakable their spirits are, how determined they are.
Despite the news of closure, OOU students have collectively resolved to stay in school and await further instructions from their student leaders. The state Government has sent in truckloads of anti-riot mobile policemen into the university community with instructions to arrest student leaders. As an organization, we remain focused. Series of meetings and consultations are ongoing and more meetings will be held tomorrow.
One thing we are sure of is that we will achieve this reduction and ensure it is effected this session. Until our school is opened and our request granted, whirlwinds of revolt will shake this state to its core. We call on the media not to treat this issue lightly; they are the only security we have.
Plans are ongoing, we will not give up, we will fight this till we win.