- Group has threatened mass revolt in Ondo over UNIMED tuition increment
- It urged Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to reduce the increment or face the wrath of the citizenry
- The group said that Akeredolu has inflicted more pains and wreaked further havoc on the already destabilized pysche of the citizens of the state
Sequel to the increment of tuition by management of University of Medical Sciences, Ondo (UNIMED), to over N450, 000, a human right group, Sunshine Liberation Front (SLF), has threatened to organise mass protest.
Legit.ng regional reporter in Ondo, Oluwadamilare Moriyeke, reports that the group's media and publicity officer, Oluwagbenga Ajongbolo, in a statement issued made available to journalists in Akure, urged Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to reduce the increment or face the wrath of the citizenry.
He accused the state government of implementing anti-people policies that further impoverish the masses, describing the increments as a deliberate plans to deprive the people of their inalienable rights to education.
Ajongbonlo stated that UNIMED students, who found it difficult to pay a little above N200,000 in the last session might not be able to afford the new tuition that is over N450,000.
He said: "For the record, the management had released the new tuition fees, which ranged between N350, 000 to N530,000 now for 100 level to 600 level students but used to be from N182, 000 to N375, 000.
He added that the present government under Akeredolu has inflicted more pains and wreaked further havoc on the already destabilized pysche of the citizens of the state.
According to him, "Akeredolu and his cronies have come up with another means of extorting Ondo state students in particular and Nigerian students in general with this newest path to raking in more internally generated revenue.
"It has continued to destroy the educational foundations his forebears laid, degrade the legacies and seem determined to plunge our dear state into more educational misfortunes.
"Was it not months ago that the students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, their parents and concerned citizens took to the streets of Akure, Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja and other parts of Nigeria to protest the over 400% increment in their tuition?
"A school reputed to be the best amongst the rest and whose students and graduates continue to break national and international academic records even as the least paying public institution in Nigeria."
SLF disclosed that some council chairmen of the state owned institutions yielded to the increments by Governor Akeredolu so as to achieve their political ambitions in the upcoming 2019 general elections.
"Dr. ‘Tunji Abayomi, who championed the arbitrary increment of AAUA fees, which resulted into thousands of students dropping out of school, is gunning for a senate seat to represent the district where majority of these ‘unfortunate’ students hail from.
"Dr Eyitayo Fawehinmi, who is currently vying for a seat at the National Assembly too, is the chairman, governing council, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo.
"He is spearheading the outrageous tuition increment to satisfy his boss in exchange for a House of Representative ticket in the forthcoming 2019 general elections, at the detriment of the students and their struggling parents," the statement read.
The group implored the visitor to the institutions, Akeredolu, to reverse the increment in the University so as not to incur the wrath of the people by protesting against the new tuition hike.
SLF described the increment as "wicked, evil and inhumane anti progressive plan to shut the doors of education to the underprivileged ones in the society."
Meanwhile, the group also flayed Akeredolu for lack of transparency in the ongoing employment of medical personnel in the state.
The group's media and publicity officer, Oluwagbenga Ajongbolo, described the exercise as "A house built on lies and propaganda."
Ajongbonlo lamented that about nine months ago, the state Hospital Management Board (HMB), called for applications from qualified Ondo state indigenes for positions in the health sector.
He listed the vacancies to include medicine and surgery consultants, medical laboratory scientists, nurses/midwives, radiographers, pharmacists, dental therapists.
Other positions were: medical health recorders, clinical psychologists, scientific officers, physiotherapists and dental technologists, while the deadline for application was 31st of January, 2018.
According to him, "Then the Alagbaka Office of HMB became a beehive of activities. Thousands of qualified medical professionals travelled far and wide to Akure to beat the deadline. Files were filed. Certificates certified. Documents flew all around the old building.
"It was time to enjoy the dividends of democracy, they concluded. Hopes were high and many, who had graduated many years ago without gainful employments, kept their fate in the new government that was not even a year old. Change everywhere!"
He noted that the cut-off marks were officially released seven months later by the state government, peg.ging cutoff marks for phar.macy and dental officers at 65 and above, while scientific officers at 55 and radiographers must score 48.
"These, in standard recruitment procedures, are important to weed out poor performers, reduce the stress and uphold the integrity of the recruitment officers as the best hands must be picked from the tens of thousands of applicants. Survival of the fittest, we say.
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"It is therefore worrisome and confusing that the same government, who has left the fates of thousands of applicants hanging since his January medical jobs advertisements and June release of the cutoff marks, has announced another set of recruitment of health workers in the state.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that World Health Organisation (WHO)'s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commended Mrs Toyin Saraki and the programmes run by her foundation, WBFA, when he granted her audience at the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva.
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