Students of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo (RUGIPO), Ondo State have went on a wild protest in opposition to ?tuition fees hike ?by the school’s management.

The protest resulted ?in the blockade of the Owo-Akure road, which is a major trunk road for Lagos bound vehicles, leaving travelers stranded in the better part of the day.

In order to forestall further breach of the peace, the school’s management has sent the students home for two weeks.

Mr. Samuel Ojo, Public Relations Officer of the institution, said the students were asked to go home for two weeks so that the issues could be resolved.

“It is not actually a shut down, they were asked to home for two weeks some can attend to the issues at hand,” he said.

He also added that the period would also allow the management interface with the student body.

It was learnt that full-time students who are indigenes are expected to pay new tuition fees of N60,000, Non-indigenes to pay over N70,000, while newly admitted students are to pay about N 90,000.

The students decided to embark on the protest after a students’ stakeholders meeting on Sunday to consider the hike in the fees.

The management had directed that students would commence a unified test on Monday with the condition that only students who have paid their fees would be allowed to write the test.

The angry students were said to have blocked the institution’s gate, overlooking the expressway as early as and prevented lecturers and other members of staff from gaining entrance into the school premises.

The students damaged some parts of the girls hostel building, a new generation bank Automated Teller Machine (ATM), the bank sinages and some bill boards.

The protest was later extended to the newly dualised Owo township road where they made burn fires in most junctions in the town as well as at the entrance ?of the Palace of Olowo of Owo, just as business activities were brought to a halt in the town.

Speaking with reporters during the protest, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Campus Committee (JCC) of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) Ondo state chapter, ?Comrade Olasunkanmi Pelebe, said the fees paid by the students were exorbitant.

He said the students of the institution were already paying too much, more than their Polytechnic counterparts in other parts of the south west.

He said, “The management should understand that the parents of the students are not professors, politicians or business tycoons.”

Also, the general secretary of the National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOSS), Comrade Aminu Oluwaseyi, said the students were not satisfied with the condition given to them to pay before writing tests.

Addressing the protesting students, at the beginning of the protest, the school’s Rector, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun, appealed to the students to maintain peace, assuring them that the management would not be attaching any condition to the examinations.

But, Ajibefun said the issue of school fees would be discussed by the management and the students’ representatives.


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