Police Shoots Protesting Osun Students
Two students of Osun State College of Education, Ila Orangun, were yesterday shot and injured by policemen in Osogbo as joined their colleagues from other tertiary institutions owned by the state government to stage a protest against the alleged increment in fees by the authorities in their various schools.
The students gathered at the popular Olaiya Junction from where they marched through the Gbogan/Osogbo Road chanting anti-government songs and blaming the governor for increasing the fees.
Some residents said that some of the students attacked the policemen deployed to the scene and the policemen started firing tear gas canisters to disperse them.
The tear gas was said to have hit a 100 level student of English Language Department known as Azeez on the eye and another Femi in the head both from OSCOED Ila Orangun.
One of the protesting students to Punch that while Femi was taken to a hospital and was treated and discharged, Azeez had been transferred to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Ile Ife for further treatment to save his eye.
Some of the students from the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree told our correspondent that the school increased their fees from N34,000 to N65,000.
The students protested that it was wrong for the state government to approve such increase despite not paying their parents who were working with the state government their full salaries.
The Deputy Coordinator of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), in the South West, Saheed Afolabi, when contacted confirmed the shooting of the two students.
He described the shooting as uncalled for, saying the police ought to have found a better way of managing such situation rather than resulting in shooting either bullet or tear gas canister at protesting students.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa, has said the state government did not increase fees payable to its tertiary institutions.
He said this in a statement issued to react to the protest which forced shops to close down temporarily while the clash between policemen and the students lasted.
The statement reads, “Government puts it on record that it has not authorised any increment in the tuition fees in any of the state-owned tertiary institutions.”
“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.”
“For new students who have just applied to the institutions, some ancillary charges for some services, some of which are optional, were introduced and do not apply at all to current students.”
“It is pertinent to remind the people that the Aregbesola government, at its inception and without being persuaded in 2011 reduced the tuition fees of all the state-owned tertiary institutions from N45, 000 to N25, 000. Since the reduction in 2011, the government has not put a penny on the tuition fees.”