By Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO
The Ooni of Ife and Chairman, Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Okunade Sijuade (Olubuse II) has intervened in the imbroglio between the students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State and their management over the hike in the tuition fees of the institution.
The second in command to Ooni, High Chief Lowa, the Adimula of Ife while addressing the students during their protest that led to the blockage of the federal roads linking Ife over the increment threw his weight behind the demands of the protesting students promising that the traditional ruler would persuade the management to reverse the fee.
Oba Okunade through his second in command alongside 13 other chiefs at the palace condemned the sudden increment during the “Save Our Soul” visit by the placards wielding students on Tuesday, 20th May, 2014, around 2pm.
“The Ooni will do something and within the next 24 hours, the fee will be reversed. The fee must certainly be reversed and anybody who wants to distrupt the legacy of our fore fathers will never know peace,” High Chief Lowa averred.
The chief then urged the students not to take to violence assuring that the Ooni would wade into the development maintaining that the reversal would be done within the next 24 hours of their visit.
Meanwhile, the students on Tuesday, 20th May, 2014 assembled on campus in their numbers to embark on a fresh protest within the Ife township to sensitise commuters, artisans and traders alike on their plight insisting on total reversal of the hiked fees.
When contacted through a telephone call, the newly elected President of the Students Union, Mr. Ibikunle Isaac, said the union would serve bank headquarters letter not to attend to any student as it regards payment of the increased tuition until the management reversed the fee.
Ibikunle noted that the students’ union had exhausted possible means at their disposal in its quest to having a peaceful negotiation with the management but had yielded no tangible result.
He however vowed that the students would not pay the fees he described as “obnoxious and killing” maintaining that the students would continue to protest until the Professor Bamitale Omole led management rescind its decision.