By: Oluwatosin Adesola
The plot by law students of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) to stage protest against the refusal of the administration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to reduce their tuition like other students at the institution is now unsettling the state government.
The law students had slated a press conference and protest in Akure for today to demand reduction in their tuition, but the state government insisted that they are hired elements by the opposition parties to foment trouble in the capital city.
One of the students who spoke with SUNSHINETRUTH on the condition of anonymity explained that their proposed protest and press conference were not politically motivated as alleged by the state government.
“When does it become a crime for citizens under democratic rule to protest peacefully to seek government’s attention to their plight?”
He said it was unfortunate that their genuine agitation was being politicised, noting that the AAUA Law Students’ Society would meet again to take the necessary line of actions.
But reacting in a press statement today, the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon Donald Ojogo said “HIRED PARTISAN ‘PRESSURE GROUPS’ OUT TO FORMENT TROUBLE: It has come to the knowledge of the Ondo State Government that some persons, ostensibly hired by certain political gladiators, have perfected plans to stage two phantom protests and possibly, instigate violence in Akure, the State capital.
“The groups are apparently coordinated through a bi-partisan collaboration. They are to be divided into two just as their activities are likely to be simulated to appear spontaneous and taking place simultaneously.
“First, some self-acclaimed stakeholders who are members of a particular political party will organize themselves as well as other miscreants, to dress corporately today and meet in front of a Law Firm along Hospital Road, Akure.
“The purpose is to stage a teleguided protest against hike in tuition fees in the State. This is even as a Press Conference has been planned to accord the phantom protest some aura of credibility. These persons have been provided with fake means of identification as students under an imaginary pressure group.
“For the records, these are neither students; nor are majority of them indigenes of Ondo State. They are members of a particular political party from a particular State in the Southwest who though legitimately, support a governorship candidate.
“Similarly, another slant of the chain of protests is billed for the Governor’s Office by persons who claim to be disarmed militants groups. They are majorly sponsored by another governorship candidate to ‘protest their abandonment’ by the Ondo State Government.
“Peaceful protests, as Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN always posits, are legitimate and necessary democratic ingredients. All the same, politically motivated protests with bias, warped intents and partisan contents do not deserve an iota of credibility. This is more detestable when such are spinned and oiled by desperate politicians.
“The Ondo State Government shall not be distracted in its quest to sustain and deepen good governance. It, however, condemns, in strong terms, pernicious acts capable of igniting violence.
“Law enforcement agencies are by this information, requested to expand their scope of surveillance and stem these nefarious acts that are untoward in the direction of peace in the State,” Ojogo said.