· Kicks off guber election campaign
· Mimiko urges people to resist rigging
By James Sowole
The candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) for the October 10 governorship election, Mr Agboola Ajayi yesterday promised to reduce tuition fees for students in the university from N150, 000 to N50, 000, representing a proposed reduction of 200 percent.
Ajayi, also the Deputy Governor of the state, promised that if elected on October 10, he would bring back the government of the people with free maternal healthcare, affordable tuition fees at all levels and free shuttle buses for students, among others.
He made these promises at the inauguration of his governorship election campaign held at Ore, the headquarters of Odigbo Local Government, Ondo State, yesterday.
He kicked off the campaign alongside the ZLP National Leader, Dr Olusegun Mimiko; ZLP National Chairman, Mr Dan Iwuanyawu; Chairman of Ondo ZLP, Chief Joseph Akinlaja.
The state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu had increased tuition fees of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) from N30,000 per session to N150,000 per session on the average.
Consequently, the increase stoked public outcries and protracted protest among students, subsequently leading to the closure of the university for several weeks.
With his shrinking support base statewide, however, Akeredolu fortnight ago partly upturned his decision by reducing tuition fees for returning students from N100, 000 to N80, 000 only.
By implication, all fresh students of the university would pay the increase of about 500 percent, a reason the majority of parents and students in the tertiary institutions believed Akeredolu reduced the tuition fees for political reasons.
But at his campaign flag-off yesterday, the deputy governor promised to reduce tuition fees in the state university from N150, 000 to N50, 000 per session.
Ajayi said: “We forced them to talk about reduction of school fees last week. What they have done was not reduction. What have they been doing since all these days that people have been begging for reduction in tuition?
“They now said they reduced, it is nothing but deceit. Don’t believe them. They only want to deceive you and get to their position again. We will reduce the fee to N50, 000.
“We will restore power to the Ondo South within our hundred days in office. We will bring free maternal and child healthcare for the people. We will buy buses for members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) like Mimiko did during his tenure in office.”
Ajayi, also, promised that the ZLP administration would from February next year bring back the Caring Heart Government of Dr Olusegun Mimiko, who is the National Leader of the party.
He said the caring heart administration is about free maternal heart, affordable school fees, free shuttle buses, care for the market women and many other people welfare services.
Ajayi also promised to make the civil service a viable one, promising that civil servants would not be warming their chairs in office again. He assured retirees of prompt payment of their gratuities and pensions.
“They said I am a neophyte in politics. They do not know what they are saying. Although they are SANs, I am the most experienced to be the governor of this state, I am more qualified than all of them.”
Also speaking at the rally, Mimiko urged the people of the state to vote ZLP and resist rigging on the day of the election.
He said: “They are bragging about. They are threatening. But I want to tell you that they cannot do anything. Make sure you do not allow them to rig. Let’s use our votes to chase them out of office.”