The authorities of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) in Ondo State have shut down the institution indefinitely over an obnoxious hike in the tuition fee of the school, Saharareporters can report.
The decision was taken when the mangement of the school got a whiff of the protest being planned by the enraged students in collaboration with the National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS).
The students were to resume from a three-week-mid-semester break occasioned by the heavy agitations for a reduction in tuition mounted by the students.
According to our correspondent the students had protested against the enforcement of the "No payment of tuition, No Test/Exam” policy of the school management which forced the management to announce a mid-semester break.
In 2018, the school fee at Adekunle Ajasin University in Akungba Akoko was reviewed upward by the state government, prompting protests by the students who flooded Akure, the capital city for their first protest.
It was learned that the tuition fees which were between N28, 000 and N32, 000, depending on the faculty, was jacked up to N100, 000 for all returning students in the Faculties of Science, Law, Social and Management Sciences and N150, 000 for all the new students as this had led to the chain of crisis in the institution.
However, Mr Opeoluwa Akinfemiwa, a newly appointed Acting Registrar of the University conveyed the decision of the management to shut down the school "indefinitely" in an internal memo obtained by Sahara Reporters.
Akinfemiwa said the memo which was issued through the institution's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Igbekele Ajibefun, on behalf of the University Senate, directed that the students resumption to campus from the mid-semester break be "postponed".
"This is to inform all students and the entire University Community that the Vice Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Professor Igbekele Amos Ajibefun has on behalf of the Senate of the University, directed that resumption be postponed.
"A new date of resumption will be announced later. Once again, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, I wish all students a happy mid-semester break.
"This circular supersedes the earlier one circulated, please," he said.
Meanwhile, Sahara Reporters finding revealed that the decision to close down the school was as a result of the threats made by the Leadership of the National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS, over the obnoxious tuition fee introduced by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu led government.
An insider within the management cadre told our correspondent that the university senate and members the governing council board are in "fear" that the students might have planned a heavy strike to revolt the hike in the school fee.
"The governing council members of the institution have been meeting over the tuition fee and i am aware that Governor Akeredolu told them to do something about the students unrest on the campus over the fee.
"But the fear of everyone is that the students apex body (NANS) have shown solidarity and they are ready for a mother-of-all-protest in Ondo state which could give the state and the Governor himself a bad name.
"Don't forget that Mr. Governor has a second term ambition to protect and he has been doing everything humanly possible to achieve it and secure the interest of the people in the state" he said.
Mr. Bamidele Danielson-Akpan, the President of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) had described Governor Akeredolu has "worse performing governor in the areas of education development in Nigeria".
He noted that the students body are fully ready to occupy the streets of Ondo state no matter the threat by Governor Akeredolu to crush the students with security agencies if they dare embark on a protest in the state.
"We condemn in totality the managements of the state owned institutions who joined the governor in this inglorious journey, for example, the Vice-Chancelor of Adekunle Ajasin University who implemented a policy of no school fees, no test about two weeks ago which was vehemently resisted by the students that lead to the closure of the Institution.
"To this end, NANS will resist any form of intimidation, oppression or threat to the life of any of our member who are resolute in pursuing their rights and privileges.
"We also use this medium to call on UNESCO, other national and international agencies including progressive minded and well meaning individuals to prevail on Governor Akeredolu who have threatened kill and maim our members who will come out and protest against his obnoxious education policies cum commercialization of education in Ondo State.
"Let it be known that NANS is relentless in her pursuit of total reversal of all fees increased by the cannabis indulging governor of Ondo State.
"While appreciating the support and endurance of Ondo Students in peacefully demanding for reversal of the obnoxious and satanic increment in their fees, we wish to as a matter of honour, in respect of on-going final rites for the revered Olowo of Owo kingdom who passed on, put on hold our proposed mass protest against the increments until immediately after the traditional rights scheduled for this week.
"This unjust education policy will surely be challenged and we shall do so upon the completion of late Olowo's passage rights.
"We challenge Governor Akeredolu to a public debate with NANS where he can lay bare his educational policies for Ondo people. We are constantly embarrassed by his seeming threat to wipe off Ondo students for daring to speak out against his anti- educational policy.
"We view his threat as a test of our resolve to once again lay an irrefutable claim to our heroic struggle for the enthronement of the democratic rule he's today diminishing without his active participation" he said in a statement.