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Protesting undergraduates pelt Aregbesola, deputy over bursary

BY GBENGA OLARIONYE

OSOGBO — OSUN State governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola and his deputy; Mrs. Grace Titi-Laoye Tomori were yesterday prevented from going to their offices by the angry students in the tertiary institutions who were protesting  alleged non-payment of their bursary allowances.

The students who were in their thousands thronged the state government Secretariat, on Ibadan Expressway in Osogbo, as early as 10a.m. and barricaded all entrances leading to the Secretariat and held Aregbesola and his deputy hostage for over an hour while chanting war songs to drive home their demands.

The government, however, described the action of the students as unfortunate, saying that the present administ- ration has done enough to alleviate the suffering of the students more than any administration before it.

The Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon said the government will not be daunted by the action of the few disgruntled students who are bent in frustrating the good intention of governor Aregbesola.

Trouble started for Aregbesola at about noon while on his way to the office when the protesting students demanded that he should alight from his car and address them but their request fell on the deaf ears of the governor who pleaded with the protesters to dialogue with him in his office.

Aregbesola’s pleas for him to be allowed to enter the Secretariat did not go down well with the students who started booing the governor and his deputy and made uncomplimentary remarks about them.

However, the state Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Kalafite Adeyemi appealed to the angry students to allow Aregbesola address them in his office, but the protesters stood their ground.
Amidst the unending uproar, the students barricaded the deputy governor’s convoy and forced her to alight from her car.

She, however, trekked down backward for about five minutes for fear of being harassed by the angry protesters and joined Aregbesola, who was at a stone-throw behind her in his car.
Apparently confused by the ugly development, Aregbesola’s convoy zoomed off while the protesters continued chasing and stoning the governor.

There was panic, however, when the security men attached to Aregbesola started firing their gun-shots  spora- dically into thin air apparently to scare away the students.

The chairman, Joint Campus Committee, JCC, Olaore Naheem who spoke on behalf of the protesting students said: “We, the students of Osun State in all the tertiary institutions have not collected our bursary of N10,000 as earlier announced by Aregbesola.

“Our schools are in a state of decay but unfortunately, Aregbesola is gallivanting around with the state resources. About two years that Aregbesola regained his mandate as the governor of the state, he has remained incommunicado with the yearnings of the people of the state especially in the area of education”.

… As Senate committee hails his education policy

Members of the Senate yesterday challenged other governors of the federation to learn from the educational policies put in Osun State if indeed, they are set to put their states on the path of educational glory.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Educ- ation, Chief Uche Chukwumerijie, leading other members of the Committee on an oversight visit to the state, advised other states to drop their party affiliations and sentiments for the advancement of education in their various states.

Osun State governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola had held that Nigeria will not make an appreciable progress if her focus is only on the executive arm of government.

Senator Chukwumerijie said the visit was a mark of respect and solidarity to show appreciation for the wonders and feat that the young administration of Aregbesola has achieved

In his words: “The states and the country owed Governor Aregb- esola a lot of gratitude for promptly laying a formidable foundation for education in the state. I will like to use this opportunity to advise other states irrespective of your political affiliation.

“You must drop your ego and learn from the people oriented projects and programmes of Governor Aregbesola.”

According to the lawmaker: “The gover- nor of Osun is a God-send to his people. Aregbesola, as a fresh governor, has shown that he is a serious-minded person. For the first time, the education policy of Ogbeni Aregbesola remains the best in the country, even ahead that of Lagos State.”

Responding, Governor Aregbesola urged the committee not to be afraid to tell the president that there is a problem in the educational sector, and the decadence must be arrested for sound education to prevail.


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