Students of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) have suspended their protests over the hike in their tuition fee after a meeting with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
The massive protest entered its third day on Wednesday with some anti-riot Policemen shooting at the students and also made some arrest during the peaceful demonstration at the governor’s office.
Femi Joseph, Spokesman of Ondo State Police Command confirmed the arrest of over forty students in a phone chat.
Joseph said the protesting students were arrested at the governor’s office in Alagbaka, Akure for blocking the roads.
“When we (police) noticed that they were becoming unruly and were blocking the access roads leading to the governor’s office, then we move in and stop them before they will cause more destruction. We were able to arrest about 34 non students and 12 students,” he narrated.
Sahara Reporters learnt that the protest was “temporarily put to an halt” while the students leaders met with Mr. Akeredolu behind closed door.
The close door meeting, it was reliably gathered, lasted about three hours and was held inside the Governor’s office in Akure, the state capital.
The students’ union leaders at the closed-door meeting included – Comrade Ijanusi Olawale (President of the Student Union Government of AAUA), Comrade Adewumi Adebowale (Chairman of the National Association of the Nigerian Students Joint Campus Committee in Ondo Axis) and Comrade Arosoye Kunle.
Ifedayo Abegunde, Secretary to the Ondo State Government (SSG) and Commissioner of Information, Yemi Olowolabi were part of those who represented Ondo state government.
Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju, Commissioner for Police in the state was also present at the meeting, and gave account of how the students were unruly during the protest.
One the attendees who preferred anonymity told Sahara Reporters that the students leaders agreed to suspend the meeting because Governor Akeredolu promised to wade into the hike in the tuition.
“We decided to call off the protests and allow Mr. Governor (Rotimi Akeredolu) to wade into the burning issue of the hike in school fee we agreed on behalf of the entire Adekunle Ajasin University of Agriculture students to cease fire for now and also suspended all the struggle.
“The Governor himself has promised to personally look into the hike by calling a meeting with the members of governing board and the university management. So, we are expecting a change of mind from the government over the hike in the tuition fee as no parents will be willing to pay such exorbitant fee.”
Speaking to our correspondent, a source in the government office disclosed that Governor Akeredolu was willing to shift ground on the hike in the AAUA tuition.
“After yesterday (Wednesday) meeting, the Governor instructed the institution’s management to pull down the tuition fee from the school portal in order to give room for fresh consultation.
“He (Akeredolu) also asked the Police boss to unconditionally release all those who were arrested during the protests in Akure but hopefully we shall know the next move before the weekend”
Sahara Reporters learned that Governor Akeredolu would be meeting with the management of the institution soon.