A Non-Government Organisation, the Education Rights Campaign, ERC, has deplored the closure of Olabisi OnabanjoUniversity, OOU, Ago-Iwoye, in Ogun State, by the Ogun State Government. It said it meant to demobilise the students for staging further protest to press the government for a reduction in the hiked tuition fees in the university. ERC also demanded for the “ re-opening of the University and the meeting of all demands of students for substantial reduction in their hiked fees and improved funding of the University.”
In a press release sent to Newsbreak.Ng, the education campaigners, scoffed at government’s excuse that the closure was to forestall a breakdown of law and order in the institution.
ERC National Coordinator, Hassan Taiwo Soweto, said that the Ogun Governor’s, Ibikunle Amosun, “argument is ridiculous,” and “mockery of democracy.”
Soweto said: “The real reason the State government closed down the University is to avoid meeting the demands of students for substantial reduction in their hiked fees to an amount not higher than N50, 000. To achieve this, the State government is trying to criminalize the students and prepare the ground for police arrests and other forms of victimisation.
“We like to remind the Ogun State Police Command that this is a democracy and the use of police to harrass students and ordinary Nigerians fighting for their legitimate right will not be tolerated. The ERC shall resist attempts by the Police to arrest, detain or victimise OOU students and their leaders in any way.”
He added that, “the ERC believes that the real threat to the peace of Ogun State is the anti-poor and dictatorial Amosun-led state government whose pro-rich, divisive and cynical policies on education have the capability not only to cause “breakdown of law and order” but also to mortgage the future of the youths.”