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By Lere Olayinka

Ekiti State Governor, Engr. Segun Oni has urged the National Association of Nigerians Students (NANS) to collaborate with the State Government to sanitise the Bursary Award System with a view to curb the use of fake students to siphon the fund provided for the scheme at the local governments.

Governor Oni, who also challenged opposition party in the State on his performance, saying; “our government's record of achievements is such that cannot be faulted by anyone except those whose brand of opposition is destructive,” was speaking during a courtesy visit to his office by officials of the NANS Joint Campus Committee (JCC), Ekiti and Ondo States Axis.

The governor disclosed that bursary was increased from N2,000 to N5,000 per student by his administration, also said the award of bursary was transferred to the local government because the State Government needed to take the greater responsibility of awarding scholarship to indigent but brilliant students of the State origin.

Governor Oni, who said the government was ready to increase the bursary if all conduit pipes are blocked, called on the students to collaborate with the government to prevent the use of fake students by unscrupulous government officials to short-change the government and real students.

The governor noted that a sum of N253 million has been spent on award of scholarship to 2,031 students of the State origin from secondary school to PhD levels, adding that more students would benefit in the

2010/2011 Scholarship Award.
Calling on the opposition Action Congress (AC) to appoint project assessors that would embark on honest and sincere assessment of projects executed by the government and at what cost, Governor Oni said; “We can beat our cheats and challenge the opposition people to carry out an honest and sincere assessment of what we have done compared to what was done in the State in the last 12 years.

“Let them go and talk to the people of Iro, who can now access their town without having to go through Irun-Akoko as it used to be because the 16 kilometres Isinbode-Iro-Federal-Iro-Irun road, which links Iro-Ekiti to other towns in the State has long been completed. Let them visit Iyemero and talk to the people who now sell 200 tubers of cassava for N45, 000 instead of N3,000 that they used to sell it before because there was no road through which they can transport their farm produce.

“So, the opposition people should come and carry out an assessment of what we have done. If there is any town in the State that they found out that the Alliance for Democracy (AD) government did more than what we have done, we are ready to move into the town immediately and provide times ten of what they provided,” Oni said.

While urging the students to continue to conduct themselves in peaceful manner, the governor said; “Our youths must stop allowing themselves to be used by desperate politicians who are using their propaganda machineries to destroy the future of the State and its youths.

“Instead of presenting yourselves as tools to be used by desperate politicians, you must begin to ask those destroying your future with their negative propaganda to account for what they have done to your future. This is because, by the kind of image they have created for this State, they are making the achievement of your future goals difficult.”

Earlier, the NANS JCC Chairman, Comrade Aremo Gbenga Oyebode had commended the governor for his developmental efforts in the State, especially the education sector. He apologised for the unruly behaviour of some students, whom he said were hired from tertiary institutions outside the zone to protest against the government.

Comrade Oyebode, who pledge the support and cooperation of the students body for the Oni-led government said the JCC will always seek audience with the governor to dialogue on issues bordering on welfare of the students.

Also speaking, the JCC General Secretary, Comrade Adebayo Olumide, who is a student of the University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD) lauded the governor for the government's various developmental efforts in UNAD, noting that the Oni-led government deserves commendation for what it has done in the university.