By DAYO JOHNSON
AKURE — Authorities of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, RUGIPO, Owo, Ondo State yesterday ordered closure of the school for two weeks following students protests over hike in school fees.
The students, yesterday, showed their displeasure by trooping to Owo‑Benin‑Abuja expressway and the streets in the town thereby disrupting traffic flow for several hours.
They barricaded the expressway and stopped vehicular movement for several hours while the school property were vandalised.
Vandalised structures included the girls hostel building, the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) of a new generation bank, the bank’s signpost and some other billboards.
Following the breakdown of law and order in the institution, the authorities hurriedly ordered its closure to avoid the protest from escalating.
Vanguard gathered that students had on Sunday held a students’ union stakeholders meeting where they resolved to protest the conditions attached to writing their examination and a unified test just introduced by the management of the institution.
Findings by Vanguard indicated that the Ordinary National Diploma, OND, are now to pay N73,000 instead of N65,000 while Higher National Diploma, HND, are to pay N90,000 instead of N70,000
The authorities had directed that students would commence a unified test yesterday (Monday) in the whole institution with a condition that only students who had paid their fees would be allowed to write the test.
The protesting students blocked the institution’s gate as early as 6 a.m. and prevented lecturers and other staff from entring the premises.
Addressing newsmen, Vice Chairman of the Joint Campus Committee (JCC) of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ondo State chapter, Comrade Olasunkanmi Pelebe, said the fees are exorbitant.
According to Pelebe, the students of the institution are paying a lot more than other polytechnics in the South-West, lamenting that parents of an average student are traders, artisans, or civil servants who strive very hard to send their wards to school.