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Monday, August 26, 2019

AAUA: UNION AT LOGGERHEADS WITH MANAGEMENT OVER LOW-FUNDING


Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) students’ union president, Comrade Samuel Adesomoju, has alleged that the school management is starving his administration of funds and other benefits for kicking against the upward review of tuition fees.

Adesomoju said out of N4.5 million due to the union, only 1,047,000 has so far been disbursed. He said: “My administration has not enjoyed anything because of the way we tackled the management (over increase in tuition). We were denied a lot of things.

“Our administration has been on board for over eight months without leadership training because it was cancelled by the school management.

“Since the inception of this administration, only N1,047,000 of N4.5milion due to us has been disbursed; all because of our involvement in the protest against the hike in tuition.”
Ademosoju flayed the students’ impatience over the protest, which according to him, could have cost him and others involved their studentship.

He explained that had the students been resolute like their counterparts in Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), whose fees were equally jerked up, government’s decision would not have stood.

He said:” We had low turnout of AAUA students during the school fees protest compared to the turn out of the students of Ondo State University of Science and Technology


“Besides, if AAUA students had been more supportive and cooperative, there was a higher probability that the (Ondo State) Governor (Rotimi Akeredolu), would have back pedaled on the raise in tuition.

“We were clamouring for reduction in school fees when most of the students had already abandoned the struggle and were now desperate to resume. It took the grace of God for us not to have forfeited our studentship.”

Ademosoju also bemoaned the manner the students made fun of his appearance and utterances in a short video after the meeting between the students leaders and Governor Akeredolu ended in deadlock.

“Instead of them to condemn the government, they were busy making jest of me. We were teargassed and I fell in the heat of the commotion where everyone was trying to avoid inhaling the gas.
“After I got up I had to remove my shirt to cover my nose. President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Comrade Danielson Akpan, recorded the video outside the Government House.”

He said the whole encounter had taught him lessons, adding that what he went through was never envisaged. “Students unionism is not what myself and my executives imagined it to be. With the school fees saga we realised the kind of nature students of AAUA possess.

“You fight for them but should you die alone, no one cares. As a leader one needs to employ diplomacy in dealing with the students and also agitating for them. In all, we learnt our lessons,” he said.

DEAN OF STUDENTS REACT
Reacting, Dean of student affairs, Olusegun Owelewa, denied ever underfunding the union for any reason. He said funds so far disbursed were according to available school fees paid by students.
He said: “That’s what they (SU)should get by the available school fees paid. They were the one who underfunded themselves. The amount they charge as union due is low. It is the lowest in the whole of Nigeria.

“EKSU (Ekiti State University), pays N1,500 per student, In (University of) Benin it’s N2,500 per student, but AAUA pays N300 naira. So, when they pay the lowest they can’t expect much.
“That’s what was due to the union as at the time it was released. They’ll multiply N300 by the number of students that have paid their school fees. So, it has not been underfunded in any way, it is undersubscribed and SU are not being punished. “

Concerning cancelled training for union leaders, Owelewa added: “I would not expect him to say this because he knows what happened. After we had made necessary preparations, they said they were not ready for the leadership training.

“It was the time they were doing aluta on school fees. We also prepared a kind of guided tour to Abeokuta and I showed it to him and his executive but they said they were not ready. When they now knew they had lost an opportunity they are now turning back to ask for it.

“The university has a way of doing things; they cannot be deciding for the university. The university is not prepared for it. A new executive will soon come on board so they’ve wasted their time.”

 Compiled by: Feranmi Okuku

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