Scores of students of the Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu Ijebu, Ogun State, on Wednesday, stormed the Oke Ilewo, Abeokuta secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, protesting the alleged non-payment of 14-month salaries of their lecturers.
The students, who came in three buses, were armed with placards which bore various inscriptions such as, ‘Amosun save TASCE from extinction,’ Lectures are not going on in TASCE,’ ‘Amosun restore education at TASCE’ and ‘Please, students are suffering in TASCE.’
Led by the Ogun State Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students, Dotun Opaleye, and the President, Students’ Union Government, TASCE, Dairo Ibrahim, the students argued that the state government had neglected the institution, leaving the students to suffer.
They claimed that their repeated appeal to Governor Ibikunle Amosun to come to their aid, had not yielded any positive result.
They gave the governor a 48-hour ultimatum to attend to their demands or they would be forced to occupy his office at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
The students said due to the non-payment of their lecturers’ salaries for over a year now, many of them now look for how to fend for their families rather than coming for their lectures.
“Some of them now drive Keke Marwa, while some of them sell water melons to fend for their families,” one of the students said, as he brandished his placard in front of journalists.
They also faulted the governor’s statement on Democracy Day that the institution had about 3,000 lecturers and 1,500 students, stating that academic and non-academic staff were 384, while the number of students was about 3,000.
Opaleye, who also spoke for the students said, “We kept paying school fees assiduously and we are given skeletal services. We have made so many appeals and all these appeals have fallen on deaf ears.
“We know that the governor has been misled by unscrupulous elements. We are giving the state government 48 hours to address the issues else we are going to storm and occupy the Governor’s Office and close it down till our demands are met.”
The SUG president of the institution, on his own part, explained that currently lectures were not going on in TASCE , noting that if the governor did not come to their aid, there might be mass failure among the students.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Modupe Mujota, said the state government had been engaging productively “with the administrators of TASCE.”