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Offa poly students protest

Students of Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State have shown their grievances over the postponement of the Students’ Union Government elections and the hostel fee then made compulsory for new intakes by the management.

CAMPUS REPORTER witnessed a protest staged by the students on Thursday, which ought to be the manifesto day preceding the election day- Friday.

This newspaper gathered that the management did not permit the conduct of the SUG elections in the previous session which left the students with no union structure in the last session.

In a stakeholder meeting held on Thursday, the school management announced the postponement of the electioneering process indefinitely and was met with a protest that disrupted academic activities.

A student, Israel Ayobami, disclosed that he was not happy about what happened on Thursday because he sees the school management as exploiters.

“The school management is working based on its personal interest which is wrong. Also, the postponement of the election is seriously going to affect the students,” he said.

A new-intake, Oyenyi Samson, condemned the exploitative move of the polytechnic authorities by increasing the hostel fee and making it a compulsory levy, which is not so in other federal institutions.

“I was to pay N15,000 as the hostel fee, later on, I found out that it has been increased to 25,000 which is bad.”

“The management has also mandated it on the student to pay hostel fee without any consideration or wanting to know the students o opinion towards it,” he lamented.

A part-time student, Aanuolwapo Tofunmi, said the protesters stormed a conference hall where an academic event was ongoing and the event ended abruptly.

According to her, there are several unnecessary charges that the institution in connivance with the lecturers has made mandatory, which ought not to be.

While citing instances, she stated that she has paid over N5,000 for hand-outs materials and she will be buying more.

“In my own view, I feel the SUG is in the best position to tackle this. And the management is not allowing the students to exercise their franchise so that we can elect reasonable leaders on time.”

However, on Thursday evening, the management reversed its decision on compulsory hostel fee. This was contained in an internal memorandum signed by the Dean of Directorate of Students Affairs. Aleminu Gbenga.

“School Management at its emergency meeting has resolved to lift the ban on compulsory payment of Hostel fee by new-intakes on compassionate grounds.”

“All students are enjoined to continue to continue to attend the lectures and at the same time continue to exhibit exemplary behaviours that will portray the good image of the school.”

Meanwhile, all efforts to get the reaction of the school authorities proved abortive as the spokesperson, Iroye Olayinka, didn’t respond to several telephone calls and text messages put across.

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