The Ondo state government on Thursday dismissed as fictitious the version of the encounter between the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu disclosed to journalist by the NANS president on Wednesday.
Bamidele Akpan, the president of NANS, had on Wednesday recounted the meeting between the representatives of the students' body with the governor which turned out be a fiasco when the governor walked out on the students.
Akpan also claimed that students were tear-gassed, on the order of the governor, by the security operatives at the venue of the meeting.
The Ondo state government has said "Nothing can be farther from the truth" than Akpan's claim.
A statement through Segun Ajiboye,the Chief Press Secretary (CPS), to the governor said "We are compelled to put the records straight because of the attempt of the Akpan leadership of NANS to deceive innocent Nigerians
“It may interest you to know that the NANS leadership was received by the governor in his office despite a very tight schedule of the day, which began with a State Executive Council meeting that lasted till about 7pm.
” When eventually he was ushered in to meet the governor, Akpan used the first 30 minutes to talk about personal matters. He would later plead with the governor to allow other members of his team to join the meeting, a request that the governor also obliged.
“The governor listened to their requests and took his time to explain the situation. He explained that the decision to increase the fee was solely that of the institution, but that as a father, he had intervened and directed that all the students should be allowed to write the tests and examinations.
” Several times during the meeting, even as the governor would be talking, Akpan would interrupt and insist that he be allowed to speak. Then, he threatened that he would make the state ungovernable for the governor with protests.
"At that stage, the governor said it was the right of the students to stage protest to press home their demands, but advised that such protest should be organised peacefully without the destruction of both private and public property.
According to Ajiboye The NANS president would not allow the governor to talk, as he continued to speak and shout obscenities and threats of war, all these happened right inside the office of the governor.
The CPS also claimed that Akpan urged the governor to come downstairs to see the bus he came with, which he said was given to him by the governor of Abia State. He boasted about the many governors that have given him with gifts
Among the claims made by NANS on Wednesday was that the Akeredolu-led administration has increased school fees of the four state-owned University in the state indiscriminately making it unaffordable to most of the students.