The students said the Ondo State Government is withholding their bursary allowance.
Hundreds of students from Idanre Local Government in Tertiary Institutions within and outside Ondo State on Monday protested the non-payment of their bursary allowance by the state government.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “pay our bursary now”, “we are tired of empty promises”, the students also decried the incessant power outage in the local government since the beginning of this year.
The protesters barricaded major roads and streets in the town to demand the immediate payment of their 2013 bursary allowance and the association’s annual grant.
The protest which began as early as 8 a.m., according to a witness, took an intense dimension when the students stormed Idanre local government secretariat at Owena and chased away the council workers that had resumed for work.
Witnesses said the students locked the secretariat gate and prevented movement in and out of the council.
The National Vice President of National Association of Idanre Local Government Students, Ali Olaide, said the protest became necessary as it is the only avenue for them to make their plights known to the public.
Mr. Olaide wondered why the state and local governments refused to pay the money despite the huge resources that is accruable to the state on a monthly basis.
He said the representative of the students union had, in April, met with the chief of staff to the governor, Kola Ademujimi, who also hails from Idanre on the matter without yielding positive results.
Mr. Olaide said the total amount approved by government for the bursary is N3million which ordinarily should have been paid to them without any controversy.
“We have politely exploited every possible avenue to ensure that the money is paid on time.
”Many local governments have paid the money, but here in Idanre the reverse is the case. Why is this council always backwards in everything?” the students’ leader asked.
He complained that Idanre has had no power supply in the last two month.
”The state and local government are aware of this and yet nothing is done. Idanre is a great town with good people; we will not allow greedy people to rubbish it,” he said.
Efforts by the chairman of the council, Akinnayajo Marcus, to pacify the students were snubbed as the angry students remained resolute.
The police spokesman, Wole Ogodo, could not be reached for a reaction to the protest.
The immediate past Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth and Students Affairs, Olamide George, described the action of the students as “mistrust of their leaders”.
He claimed the state government had long paid bursary and scholarship to all indigenous students in higher institutions across the country.