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Four arrested as students protest fee hike in UI
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Mon, 13 May 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

In a tense turn of events at the University of Ibadan, officers of the Nigerian Army have reportedly arrested and detained four individuals amid a protest against fee hikes.

According to report, the detained protesters, identified as Aduwo Ayodele, Made Gbadegesin, Olorunfemi Adeyeye, and Nice Linus, were apprehended and bundled into an Army van during a Monday demonstration.

Adeyeye, the National Secretary of the African Action Congress, managed to record a distressing video while inside the van. In it, a man in military uniform is clinging to the vehicle as it speeds towards the Agodi area of Ibadan.

In a distress message sent to our correspondent on WhatsApp chat, Adeyeye said, “UI security officers swooped on us as I joined UI students to raise placards. They dragged us, beat us, and then called soldiers from Operation Burst.”

A student, requesting anonymity for fear of victimisation, disclosed that the arrests occurred concurrently with a swearing-in ceremony for the new Students’ Union executives, with protesters voicing their dissent against the fee hike.

Efforts to reach the Nigerian Army spokesperson, Brig. General Onyema Nwachukwu and the UI Dean of Students Affairs, Prof Adekeye Abiona, were futile at press time.

Expressing condemnation and demanding the protesters’ release, human rights group, the Take It Back Movement, in a post on X, said, “Here is @activistfemi being moved to an unknown location by @HQNigerianArmy officers. He was arrested by operation burst during an ongoing protest around the University of Ibadan. We condemn this as despicable, and demand his immediate release.”

The National Association of Nigerian Students in April denounced the “outrageous” fee hike for new UI students, citing financial burdens imposed on families already grappling with economic challenges.

According to NANS Public Relations Officer Victor Igbudu, the fee increase for the 2023/2024 academic session, which ranged from N230,000 to 412,000, was deemed unacceptable.

 

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