By Gbenga Ariyibi
For several hours the combined team of security operatives prevented the students of the University of Ado Ekiti, UNAD, from disrupting a public lecture organised by the university, as the students trooped out in large numbers protesting what they described as astronomical hike in school fees.
The lecture had in attendance Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oluseyi and the state governor, Engr Segun Oni.
The enraged students who had gathered at the main entrance of the university, matched from the gate to the main auditorium, immediately they sighted Governor Segun Oni who came to the university with his newly acquired bullet proof Merzedez Benz.
Led by their president, Kehinde Okunuga, the students who had earlier sought an audience with the governor to address them and speak about what the government was doing to reduce the fees to no avail, chanted anti-government songs in which they made some unprintable remarks about the government and its educational policies.
The students leader who lamented the type of suffering some of the students were presently going through, said a lot of the students were self sponsored.
The union president disclosed that some of his colleagues who had earlier gained admission into the institution had voluntarily withdrawn their studentship since the hike in fees
Efforts by some state officials who accompanied the governor to the university and their lecturers to convince the students on the need to suspend their action proved abortive.
But Mr Governor who maintained his cool throughout the period the action of the students lasted, however told the audience when it was the time for him to make a remark that the students should decide whether they wanted the fee regime to stay or be reviewed .
The governor who happens to be the visitor to the university, said UNAD had a tradition of increasing fees in every four years, saying â€œthe students are free to say whether they prefer annual increase or quarterly increment.â€
In the lecture which is entitledâ€™ Nigeria Defence Policy and Democracy; issues and prospects was almost marred but by the vigilant security operators
At the end of the lecture, the security operators dispatched the students who had formed a ring round the auditorium by shooting teargas canisters.