BY DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA — Medical students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, Ago‑Iwoye, Ogun State, yesterday, protested what they described as school fee extortion from the management of the university.
The angry students, armed with placards with various inscriptions, such as: “Injustice is cruel and it breeds anger. We will not pay illegal school fees”; “Stop this unnecessary student extortion” and “Who will pay for my 10 years fee in a six-year course,” stormed the Ogun State House of Assembly, demanding an immediate stoppage of the extortion.
Speaking on behalf of the students, President of the OOU Medical Students Association, Yemi Adegbesan, alleged that the vice chancellor of the school, Prof. Sabur Adesanya, had asked them to pay an “extra two years illegal fee.”
Adegbesan pleaded with the Speaker of the House to urgently wade into the matter as “time is not on the side of the final year students.”
He said: “The medical school curriculum runs for six years, which automatically requires them to pay for six sessions with or without strike by academic or non‑academic staff of the institution.
“Is Prof. Saburi Adesanya above the law? He has refused to allow final year medical students from OOU do their induction just because he wants them to pay extra two years school fees.
“This is illegality that is unprecedented in the history of university education in Nigeria. The students have extra time in school because of ASUU, SSANU, NASU and other union strikes.
“We had on December 17 written a petition to the House on the issue but up till now, nothing has been done and that is why we are back.”
Addressing the protesters, the Speaker, Hon. Suraj Adekunbi assured them that the state will look into the matter with a view to finding a lasting solution to it.
Adekunbi however, told the students not to take laws into their hands just as he advised them against being used by opposition in the state.
He said: “In a democratic setting, processes are more important than the outcome. We need to follow due process and you know there is no way we can jump the gun.
“If we are going to do something, it will not be done in haste; we have to involve the management of the university.
“I also have a brother in your school who is in his 10th year, so I understand your plight but I want you to have confidence in us that we will do the right thing and everything will be done in accordance with the provision of the law.”