By; Odeyemi Samuel, Akure.
The students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State has kicked against N25,000 the institution’s management asked each of them to pay for the damages done on the campus during the protest that occurred last month where properties worth several millions were destroyed .
The management closed down the school in April following the students protest against the death of one of their colleagues, identified as Ojo Afolabi Daniel and announced Monday (today) as the resumption date for the students and a payment of N25, 000 from each student for the damages.
The students described management action as an exploitative tendency to extort them with the money they were asked to pay for the damages which the student body put below N20 million.
It was gathered that the monetary value of properties allegedly damaged during the protest was not up to N20 million but the school would realized over N300 billion if each of the students should pay the N25, 000 as demanded by the University authority.
One of the students who craved anonymity alleged that “the school management wants to make money from the incident because our population is about 15, 000 and if each of us should pay N25, 000 that means the school will be making a sum of N375million when the value of the properties damaged is not up to N20 million”.
He added, “The school should realize that our parents are civil servants who were being owned salaries by the state government, where do they want us to get the money? This is unfair and we are appealling to the state governor to intervene in this matter.”
In his reaction, the President of the Students Union Government of the institution, Mr. Adegbola Oluyemi who spoke to our correspondents on the telephone said the money was too much, calling on the school management to give it a downward review.
” We are appealing to the school to look into the money, it is too much, cutting the head is not the solution to headache, we are also calling on the governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to wade into this matter, we don’t want to protest again but the school should reduce the money. ” he appealed .
However, all efforts to reach the Head of the Information Unit of the institution, Mr. Sola Imoru was not successful as his telephone line was not reachable at the time of filling in this report.,
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun, has said that the management of the varsity was committed to positioning it among the best globally, vowing that criminal elements masquerading as students would not be awarded the University’s certificate.
In the same vein, the State Police Commissioner, Mrs. Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison, has said the Police command in the state will continue to work hand-in-hand with the University to ensure safety of lives and property of students and staff.
Both stated this when Prof. Ajibefun hosted the Police boss and her team who were in the school on a courtesy visit.
The Vice Chancellor thanked the Police for their promptness, professional advice and guidance in quelling the students’ protest last month.
He said, “We are aware of what happened in other towns and places where some students lost their lives while protesting, but with your experience and counsel, such was avoided here. We assure you that the university will continue to collaborate with the Police to ensure that peace reigns.
“We have been able to forge partnership with other universities across the globe to ensure we take AAUA to higher levels and ensure we make our students globally competitive. We will continue to do that, but the university will not allow criminals to take our certificate so that the name of the university is not tarnished.
“Very soon, our students will be called back because we don’t want the innocent among them to suffer unnecessarily. The senate met and decided that they will be called back by Monday, May 16.”
In her remarks, Mrs. Ibifuro-Harisson assured returning students of adequate security, but counselled them to be law-abiding. She said they should resume with the mind of facing their primary reason for being in school.
She said, “Returning students should come back to face their academic work, while we will make all efforts to flush out those who are not students among them who want to infiltrate the ranks of the good students and create chaos.
“The law-abiding students should be rest assured that they will be safe as men of the Nigeria Police and the university security will work together to ensure their safety.”
By; Odeyemi Samuel, Akure.