The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) seems set to do battle with the Oyo State Government over some of the policies of the Senator Abiola Ajimobi-led administration. In a statement issued on Saturday by Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye on behalf of Yinka Gbadebo, the NANS President, the association is demanding that the Governor should constitute Governing Council Boards for all the state-owned tertiary institutions in Oyo State and also refund application fees collected from students who applied for bursary awards or risk “protests that may shut down Oyo State”.
Below is the full text of the statement:
“The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) wish to draw the attention of the general public, particularly, the indigenes of Oyo State to the seeming, outward, ostensible and apparent mal-administration and perpetual sleaze currently rocking Oyo state under the Abiola Ajimobi led Government.
Ever since the assumption of office of the current executive Governor of Oyo State, various needs of the people have either been jettisoned or discarded in a brazen attempt to deprive and dispossess the people from benefiting from the dividends of democracy.
Having x-rayed and perused into the performance and direction of the Ajimobi led administration in the last two years, it has become obvious that the Governor’s effort are not only anti-poor but targeted at dwindling the fortunes and collective patrimony of the once revered Pace-setter state.
Nigerian Students are at a loss and would love to ask Governor Ajimobi why he has refused to constitute statutory boards into governing council of the state owned tertiary institutions in Oyo State more than two years in the saddle (excluding LAUTECH that is jointly owned by Oyo and Osun States)? It is a known fact that Governor Ajimobi has not deemed it fit to embark on any project in any of the state owned institutions for obvious lack of vision, apparition and mental picture for the future of Oyo youths.
Country people, in February 2013, the Ajimobi led administration came up with an advert through the Oyo State Scholarship Board in which final year and post-graduate students of Oyo State origin were requested to apply for bursary of N25, 000 upon payment of N1, 500 and N2, 500 application fees, respectively. About one billion naira (N1bn) was raised while the exercise became a concocted scam. Thousands of Students who paid have been denied access to further information on payment of bursaries they instructively applied for. The Ajimobi government robbed the majority of the students to pay the minority-few; what a fraud! From available reports, over 300, 000 students applied for the bursary while a few hundred got paid. Mr. Governor even posted on his facebook timeline that N100million was paid as scholarship.
As if that is not enough, unemployed citizens of the state were asked to pay N1, 000 each to get employed into the civil service; over 500, 000 citizens applied giving Oyo government well over N500million. We challenge the Ajimobi government to show records of those that applied and why just only 15 people were qualified and recruited for the scheme.
The leadership of NANS under Yinka Gbadebo (Ayefele) in recognition of the unrestrained expectations of her members in Oyo State wishes to call on the Governor of Oyo State to quickly address the following demands within 14 days or risk mass protests that may shut down Oyo State.
1. Constitution of substantive Governing Council Boards/Appointment of substantive Heads for the state owned tertiary Institutions.
2. Immediate refund of illegal application fees collected from students in Oyo state on the fraudulent, clandestine, surreptitious, deceptive and sly bursary and scholarship scheme.
3. Conduct of elections into students’ Union Government of all the state owned tertiary institutions.
4. Payment of compensation to business owners whose legal business and properties were destroyed without notice due to his urban renewal project.
5. Immediate adoption of constructive policy on education and development of infrastructures in campuses across the state and their environs.
6. Promulgation of transportation scheme that can serve the growing populace of students across campuses in Oyo state to ease their demands.
As a responsible body, NANS wishes to call on the Ajimobi led government, to work in the interest of those masses whose roar for change, elected him as Governor for emancipation, economic rejuvenation, peace and growth of Oyo State, to urgently recall his promises, policies and focus to serve Oyo people in accordance with their yearnings and aspirations.
Finally, we recognize the importance and laudable roles of the media as the conscience of the society. We state that Nigerian students have never regretted your contributions to nation-building. We encourage you to be more vigilant, objective and purposeful as you continue to lead Nigeria with your pen and unbiased analysis of issues as they unfold.
Aluta Continua; Victoria Ascerta!!!”