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By NBF News

Students of the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa have expressed displeasure on the planned harmonization of the four tertiary institutions in the state. The students, therefore, called on the state Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola to shift ground on the proposed plan.

The students, who staged a peaceful protest in Ilesa to express their dissatisfaction on the proposed government plan, also called on the Owa of Ilesa, Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran to intervene on the matter by prevailing on the governor not to carry out the planned harmonization of the college with other tertiary institutions in the state.

The protest, which took the students to different parts of the town including the palace of the Owa of Ilesa affected commercial activities in the town while it lasted as the students prevented traders and drivers from their various activities on major streets of the city.

However, it took several hours before Oba Aromolaran could calm the nerves of the protesting students.

In a swift reaction, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Sunday Akere denied the allegation, adding that the government only set up a committee on harmonization of tertiary institutions for the betterment of education sector in the state.

Akere said: 'There was no plan by the government to merge tertiary institutions in the state. Those agitating have no reason to fear because majority of members of the committee put in place by the government on harmonization were Ijesa natives including the likes of Prof. Ibidapo Obe, Prof. Wale Omole, Prof. Olu Odeyemi and others. I believe these people know what they are doing and I want to say that the people should allow the government to do what it thinks it is right for the people of the state.

Some of the placards read: 'Aregbesola, don't play with fire', 'Osun Government is warned,' 'Aregbesola, we are ripe to be a university, don't destroy a growing institution', 'Aregbesola, stop deceiving the people of Osun State', among others. They described the planned action of the state government as retrogressive.

However, Oba Aromolaran described the rumour as unfounded, adding that Osun State Government was not considering merging of the institution with any institution in the state.

While commending the protesters for the peaceful manner in which they staged the protest, the monarch urged them to shun violence, adding that violence could not lead them to achieving the desired goal.

Aromolaran assured them that Aregbesola was committed to taking the state to a greater height than how he met it, saying 'we are fighting for you, you have to be patient with the state government because Aregbesola has many things to do in Osun for all of us.'

By: Felicia OWARE - Hamb