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Oyo State Students Reconcile with Government, Suspend Peaceful Protest

Following the submission of a letter notifying the Oyo State Government of its proposed demonstration scheduled to hold on Monday the 7th of September 2020, the leadership of FOSSU National received a letter of invitation to dialogue from the office of the Special Assistant to Oyo State Governor on Students Affairs.

The letter reads:

“Sequel to the letter dated 1st of September, 2020 for the notification of peaceful demonstration. I hereby invite the leadership of FOSSU, Five Zonal presidents to a meeting which is scheduled as follows

Date: 4th September 2020

Time: 10am

Venue: Conference room, Ministry of Education.”

FOSSU National officials, leadership across the institution and zonal presidents were invited to attend as the meeting was scheduled for 4th of September 2020.

The meeting, which was held on Friday, 4th of September, 2020 in the conference room of the Ministry of Education, was attended by the Special Assistant to the governor on students’ affairs, Hon. Olojede Victor, the state commissioner for Youth and sports, Hon. Seun Fakorede, the chief secretary at the ministry of education, department of scholarship and bursary, the director of education of higher institution, FOSSU national president, Com. Azeez Muritala Oluwasegun Olowoeko, the national senate president, Sen. AJADI ISAAC and other chapters presidents across the state.

The SA to the governor on students’ affairs, Hon. Victor Ojeleye and other educational board members at the meeting faulted the union for not following the three Cs in Unionisms (Consultation, Consolidation and Confrontation) as expected.

While speaking with CAMPUS REPORTER, Hon. Ojeleye Victor said: “FOSSU didn’t make any consultation on the issue of bursary and other privileges expecting from the government as they claimed that they did in February, rather, the union met the government for introduction and familiarization only, and no consolidation followed their introduction before now that they are planning a peaceful protest.”

Hon. Seun Fakorede, the state commissioner for youth and sports also advised the union to keep calm and always channel their request to the appropriate channels with back up, rather than fighting for right in a wrong way. 

In his words, Hon. Fakorede made it clear to the students that the bursary which the states are giving out to their students is not at all the students right but privileges to be enjoyed by the students which should be appealed for rather than fighting for it.

“It is not compulsory for the state government to pay bursary to students because it’s not their right but privileges which should be appealed for if delayed but not to fight for as their right.

“Things are expected to change at this era of ours because we have the government that is always ready to listen to the masses. We must act intellectually and change the story of being radical youths. Fight if necessary, but fight intellectually,” he encouraged.

After several arguments between the students and the government, a decision was made by the chief secretary at the department of bursary and scholarship that since efforts made since the beginning of the year to reach all the higher institutions in Nigeria to collect the data of Oyo state indigenes through the Students’ Affairs division has been proving abortive, having low turn out of responses from schools, the presidents of the chapters should, however, make the list of all the indigenous students of Oyo in their schools and get them stamped by their Deans Students’ Affairs before forwarding it to the right channel to meet the state governor.

She, however, assured the students that the bursary will surely get to them as it is already in the year’s budget planned by the governor, Seyi Makinde.

“The bursary is already in the budget and we have started the bursary with the law students who are indigenes of Oyo state, but we later realized that wrong students’ data were included in the list which called for refunded from the caught students. To avoid such from other institutions, that’s why we are seeking their data which will be later verified if submitted before the disbursement of the bursary,” she said.

However, the FOSSU national president, com. Abdul Azeez Olowoeko after the peaceful meeting with the state government, had a meeting with his chapters presidents as he asked of their opinion on the planned protest whether to still hold it, despite the plea from government or suspend it and apply other necessary methods of catching the government’s attention.

Olowoeko urged his members to be calm and suspend the protest for now until they meet up some requirements. He gave all the FOSSU local chapters 2 weeks ultimatum to get the data of their students submitted and forward it to the right place, then wait for a reasonable response but if not, the protest shall then be right to be made.

Com. Azeez Olowoeko said: “We all know that we are not fool and we know what we are doing but let’s do what they ask us, just to be factual till the end so that we see many supporters even among them if our demand isn’t granted. Let’s give all the FOSSU local chapters 2 weeks ultimatum to get the data of their students signed and submitted and then forward it to the right place,  we then wait for a reasonable response from them but if no, the protest shall then be next stop to take.”

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