Following the alleged threats by some groups of students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) who staged protests against the recent review of tuition in the institution, students of the two other state-owned universities, namely the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo (UNIMED) and Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa (OSUSTECH), have condemned the protest.
Speaking in Akure, the state capital, on Sunday, the students expressed surprise over the protest plan of the AAUA students, and threatened to stage their own protest for the reduction of tuition in the schools if the government accede to the demands of the AAUA students.
"It is surprising that our brothers and sisters in AAUA would threaten to protest now, whereas we have been paying higher tuition for a long time without anybody raising any eyebrow or even trying to speak for us," one of the students said.
A science student of OSUSTECH, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the AAUA students as selfish. According to him, OSUSTECH students pay between N120,000 and N150,000 as tuition, whereas AAUA, with better facilities pay what he termed as 'meagre N30,000.
"During our years in the wilderness, we suffered in silence without anybody saying anything about our plight. AAUA has better facilities and infrastructure than OSUSTECH, yet we paid higher tuitions. It was only recently that the administration of Governor Akeredolu helped to fix our roads and some other things on our campus. Where were all these people when OSUSTECH was neglected for eight years? Now they are calling out students to protest. We shall meet them on the streets," she threatened.
In similar vein, a UNIMED student described the action of the AAUA student as youthful exuberance. She called on parents to prevail on their children to embrace peace.
She said: "Let the old people and parents advise these students to embrace peace. They are planning to embark on a foolish and selfish venture. Are they aware that UNIMED students pay between N350,000 and N450,000? Why haven't they risen to protest against this?"
Another student of the institution, who also spoke in similar vein, accused the AAUA students of being used by disgruntled politicians in the state. He called on Governor Akeredolu to either ignore the call by the AAUA students or extend same gesture to OSUSTECH.
"These people are wicked and selfish," he said, before adding: "I suspect that there are some outside forces behind this. Well, let me tell you, if they disrupt anything, we too will go to the streets with our own protest. And our request is simple. It is either the government leaves the recent tuition announced for AAUA or go on and reduce tuition in UNIMED.
"The story is like the children of the same father. For a long time, OSUSTECH was abandoned and neglected without anybody saying anything or condemning the neglect. What they are doing now is rubbish."