The proprietor of the College of Education, Ero, Ondo State, Mr Oyeleye Fasua, on Thursday, appealed to the protesting students of the institution to be calm, saying the issue of mobilising them for the National Youths Service Corps would be addressed.
The students of the college on Monday staged a protest over the failure of the institution to mobilise them for the NYSC after completing their degree programmes in the institution. The five-year degree programmes were affiliated with the Adekunle Ajasin Univerisity, Akungba Akoko.
During the protest, the angry students blocked the Akure-Ilesa Expressway, and held Fasua hostage, demanding the return of their tuition fees if they could not be mobilised for the NYSC scheme.
The students also vandalized some properties of the school during the protest.
Fasua who spoke with our correspondent in Akure, explained that the institution was acting based on the promises made by the management of the AAUA that the students would be mobilised for the NYSC programme after completion of their programmes.
The proprietor, however, admitted that, though the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the AAUA for the affiliated programmes did not stipulate that the students would be mobilised for the NYSC scheme, he insisted that the management of the university promised to mobilise the students.
He said, “On September 15, 2017, the College of Education, Ero, entered into an affiliation agreement with the AAUA to run a degree program. Throughout this partnership, we have been assured by the university that our students would be eligible for the NYSC upon completion of their studies.
“These assurances were reiterated during the matriculation ceremony held at our institution, where the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of AAUA addressed our students directly. It is with deep regret and disappointment that I must express my shock upon learning that the list released by AAUA for NYSC placement did not align with the assurances given to us.
“This unfortunate development has led to a protest by our students, which resulted in acts of violence and damage to property. I must emphasize that I strongly condemn any form of violence or destruction of property as a means of expressing grievances.
“I would like to assure the public that the AAUA is a reputable institution that takes matters such as these seriously. I contacted the university’s directorate, Professor Hassan, the Director of IOD about the ugly development and he responded that the student representatives from my school Ero just left his office. He therefore expressed that the team of management from my school should come over for an amicable resolution, and we are currently working together to find an amicable solution to this situation.
He urged the students to exercise restraint and refrain from taking the law into their own hands, saying it was important to give room for peaceful dialogue and allow the appropriate channels to address the matter
“I trust that Adekunle Ajasin University will take swift action to investigate and rectify this discrepancy, ensuring that the promised opportunities for NYSC placement are extended to our deserving students,” he stated.