In a passionate plea for justice, students of the All-State College of Education, AAUA, Ero, Ondo State, took to the streets to protest their exclusion from the National Youth Service Corps , NYSC, program.
Their actions stemmed from their deep frustration after completing their degree programs but finding themselves left out of the vital NYSC initiative.
The aggrieved students staged a protest on Monday, blocking the Akure-Ilesa Expressway and even holding the institution’s proprietor, Mr. Peter Fasua, hostage in his office for several hours until police intervention secured his release.
During the protest, the students demanded a refund of the tuition fees they had paid over five years since they were unable to participate in the NYSC scheme. These students had completed a five-year degree program at the college in affiliation with Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.
Olusola Gbenga, the President of the institution’s Students’ Union, expressed the students’ frustration, revealing that the school had two sets of graduates eagerly awaiting mobilization for national service.
Gbenga recalled the Vice Chancellor of AAUA, Prof. Olugbenga Ige, promising during their matriculation that they would indeed participate in the NYSC program after graduation. Approximately 400 graduates who completed the degree programs are still waiting for mobilization.
The Students Affairs Officer, Mr. Samuel Adebayo, present during the protest, clarified that the institution’s proprietor was taken away to prevent harm as the students were increasingly agitated.
Adebayo defended the institution, explaining that the examinations and supervision of the affiliated programs were handled by lecturers from AAUA. He stated that Mr. Fasua had believed the students would be able to join the NYSC after graduation, but the students are now demanding a refund of their tuition fees.
However, the Head of Media and Publicity at AAUA, Mr. Victor Akinpelumi, refuted the allegations, emphasizing that the University had never promised to mobilize the students for the NYSC.
He suggested that the students should discuss their grievances with the management of their school and pointed out that the Memorandum of Understanding , MoU, stipulated that the students were not regular and therefore could not be mobilized for the NYSC, with AAUA only able to provide them with an exemption NYSC certificate as per the MoU they had signed.