Vanguard Newspaper 13042018
28—Vanguard, FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018 When pregnant women, students protest Akeredolu’s anti-people policies By Dayo Johnson, Regional Editor, South-West WITHIN the space of four days, two separate protests rocked Ondo State and shook it to its foundation. Pregnant women and students took to the streets of Akure during the week, to protest against what they termed ‘anti-people policies.’ In fact, security agencies in the state had a hectic time trying to rise up to the occasion. Pregnant women’s antenatal protest The first set of people who expressed their displeasure over the state government’s decision to hike fees for antenatal were pregnant women. In a rare public show, the women displayed their protruding stomachs to express their anger. The governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, who was in Abuja to attend a meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and got wind of the protest, dispatched his Health Commissioner, Mr. Wahab Adegbenro to placate the protesting pregnant women. The state was grounded for almost four hours as activities at the state specialist hospital antenatal clinic and other departments were halted. Vanguard learned that the protest by the pregnant women hit the governor so hard that he reportedly vowed that those behind the “unauthorised” 300 per cent increase in medical fees as against what was in operation under the immediate past government, which was free would be dealt with. Dependable government sources hinted that a high powered panel would soon be set up to probe the collection of unauthorised fees and bills in government hospitals from pregnant women by officials of the Hospital Management Board, HMB and heads may eventually roll if they are found culpable. Reliable sources within the hospital said that government would be economical with the truth if it is now washing its hands off the matter as the management of the hospital were told in plain language to source for money to run the hospital. The source, who pleaded anonymity, said: “How do they want us to run the hospitals? Is it with our own salaries or our blood?" A dependable source told Vanguard that some influential •Pregnant women protesting hike in antenatal fees •Students of Adekunle Ajasin varsity protesting hike in tuition fees personalities in the state have asked the governor to tread softly as the happenings in the state in recent times, were not only worrisome but could have been avoided if government had consulted widely before reeling out perceived “anti- people policies.” Outrageous medical bills While accusing the present administration of milking them, the pregnant women said that they were made to pay “unnecessary and outrageous medical bills” which ranged between N50,000 and N80,000 at government hospitals across the state before any delivery through caesarean section. One of the protesters, Iyabo Oladele said: “We pay so much medical bills before the nurses are allowed to attend to us at the hospital and they have always had this lackadaisical attitude towards us. “In fact, there are times they even get us detained inside the hospital or seize our property if we do not pay the heavy medical bills on time after delivery.” Another pregnant woman, Sharon Arise said that the cost of antenatal services was increased last December while other fees were introduced after the Easter break. She said most of them have resorted to using traditional midwives and private hospitals because of the outrageous bills and fees. She was quick to point out that officials, in a bid to perfect their fraud, do not issue receipts to them especially after delivery for which they cough out between N50,000 and N80,000. She was quick to point out that officials, in a bid to perfect their fraud, do not issue receipts to them especially after delivery CMD denies allegations The Chief Medical Director, CMD of the Specialist Hospital, Dr. Moses Adewole denied any increase in the cost of delivery in the hospital. “Everything in this country is on the high side and most of the time, we depend on power from power generation set because the power from the national grid cannot power most of the equipment in the hospital and we depend on generator most of the time.” It was communication gap— Health commissioner The Commissioner of Health, Dr Adegbenro attributed the cause of the protest by the expectant women to “communication gap.” Adegbenro said: “The people were not properly briefed about what is going on, but we have cancelled the fee for the antenatal appointment and have reverted to the old system.” He described the increase in the delivery fee as false saying there was no plan to increase the delivery fee, “there is nothing like N25,000 for delivery, it is false information and the normal delivery fee remains N5,000.” Students protest tuition fee While the dust raised by the 300 per cent increase in medical bills payable by the expectant women across the state was yet to settle, the Governing Council of the state-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko, stoked another fire by astronomically hiking the tuition fees of the over 19,000 students by over 500 per cent. The tuition fee was N35,000 before it was shot up to N200,000. For days, the students, under the auspices of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS and National Association of Ondo State Students, NAOSS, grounded Akure as they protested against the alleged insensitivity of its governing council. Students displayed placards such as: ‘Akeredolu must not send us away from school’, ‘No to hike in our school fees’, ‘Education is our right’, ‘Aketi enjoyed free education, he must not take it from us’ and ‘Remove increment or we make the state ungovernable.’ The vexed fees indicated that “Faculties of Arts and Education- Fresh Students are expected to pay N150,000, returning Students: N120,000, Faculties of Science, Agriculture, Social and Management Sciences - Fresh Students: N180, 000, returning Students: N150,000 and Faculty of Law - Fresh students: 200,000, returning students: N150, 000. Students, Parents protest tuition fees The students and their parents showed their displeasure by kicking against it. While the state government and the governing council insisted that there was no going back on the new fee regime, the students and their parents have also stood their ground. The student leader, Oladele Ijanusi insisted that only the fresh students should pay a fee that attracts only 30 per cent increase while returning students pay the former fees. He said the increment was done “in bad fate” and accused government and the governing council of being insensitive to the yearnings of the students despite the poor economic realities facing the masses.” Ondo lawmakers back students Lawmakers in the state have opted to support the students’ agitation even as they directed the governing council to revert to the old fees. The Speaker, David Oloyelogun said that enough consultations were not made before the new fees were announced. Dependable sources told Vanguard that the governing council initially recommended N300,000 fees but after much argument, the council settled for N150,000 and N200,000. Governing Council backs action Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Tunji Abayomi while justifying their action said that the state government spends N5.700bn to run the state-owned University yearly, while the total income of the institution stands at N2.710bn.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018—29 OYO STATE CHIEFTAINCY ROW: Ajimobi, Olubadan rift worsens By Ola Ajayi IBADAN — THE faceoff between the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, 21 new kings and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji and former Governor Rashidi Ladoja over the review of 1959 Olubadan chieftaincy declaration deepened as a member of the Association of Mogajis of Ibadanland has asked the Oyo State Police Command to arrest Chief Wale Oladoja for allegedly causing disunity and civil disorder. The community leaders, who are sympathetic to the 21 new kings, said this in a statement in Ibadan while reacting to a report credited to Oladoja. Oladoja had said: “Ibadan Mogajis kick over continued ‘defiance’ of court judgment by the sacked Obas.” In a statement jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of Ibadan Mogajis, Chiefs Asimiyu Adepoju and Isiaka Raji Elegbaowo respectively, they maintained that the group claimed by Oladoja as 'Authentic Mogajis', “is a faceless entity.” The association said: “It must be put on record that the so-called authentic Mogaji is a faceless entity in as much as it is not known to law. It should be noted that Wale Oladoja has no locus standi to make the pronouncement for some reasons. “He is not a party to the suit between High Chief Rasheed Ladoja versus Governor of Oyo State and others and he was speaking from the point of ignorance since the ruling of the court is specific and at variance with what Wale Oladoja is canvassing. “The case is already in the Court of Appeal and therefore, Wale Oladoja’s p r o n o u n c e m e n t is subjudice and he is, therefore, guilty of contempt of court. We THE TEAM EDITOR: Dayo Johnson DEPUTY EDITOR: Dapo Akinrefon 08023844928 (sms only) CORRESPONDENTS: Ola Ajayi Gbenga Olarinoye Dare Fasube Daud Olatunji Rotimi Ojomoyela Monsuru Olowoopejo Adeola Badru •Gov Ajimobi and Olubadan of Ibadan land: When the going was good hereby call on the police to move in and get him arrested and should be made to explain why he intends to cause civil confusion in respect of a By Dayo Johnson CRISIS seems to be brewing in the riverine Arogbo- Ijaw, in Ese-Odo area of Ondo State over the plan to install a new monarch for the community, 11 years after the demise of its traditional ruler. Reports had it that some indigenes of the community have elected Chief Zacchaeus Doubra Egbunnu as Agadagba-elect to replace Pere D. M. E. Eperetun, who died in 2007. However, the Perebiri Ruling House of Arogbo has asked the state government to halt the installation of the monarch as there were cases over the authentic name of the Ruling House. Secretary of the ruling house, Ronland Oriamaja, while addressing newsmen in Akure, disowned Egbunnu as the Agadagba-elect. Oriamaja called on the Ese- Odo Local Government and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to prevail on some agents of the state government not to pervert justice in the kingship process of the community. Ibadan Osogbo (Photo) Abeokuta Ekiti Lagos Ibadan case the appeal is pending in the Court of Appeal.” The Ibadan Mogajis stated that “when a judgement is given and the respondent appeals, it Youths tasked on 2019 general elections By Providence Emmanuel AN aspirant for the House of Representatives in Ogun State, Asiwaju Bolarinwa Oluwole, has urged youths in the country to be fully involved in the 2019 general elections. Oluwole urged the youths to be prepared to lead and be fully involved in electioneering process, adding that victory in an election doesn’t come on a platter of gold. He said this during his conferment as Asiwaju Odo of means the respondent disagreed with the judgement and as such, both the claimants and respondent should maintain status-quo in which case, there is no winner, no vanquished. “In this case, the Obas remain so until the final determination of the Court of Appeal. This means the Obas will continue to enjoy all the necessary paraphernalia of office i.e. wear their crowns, collect salaries, allowances, ride their cars since they remain Obas until the Court of Appeal finally determines otherwise,” the Mogajis stated. The association is of the view that the judgment being referred to by Oladoja was rendered ONDO: Crisis brewing over Oba-elect in Arogbo-ljaw He disclosed that the stool had been subjected to a series of litigations, which some were still pending in court, while the Peribi House was a ‘judgement creditor’ in Suit No: HOK/1M/2009. Oriamaja alleged that some persons were making efforts to subvert the Chieftaincy Law and order of succession to the throne by creating Perebiyenmo Ruling House, which he said, was a contravention of the customs and traditions of the community. The Secretary lamented that the Ese-Odo LGA and some influential persons disregarded the judicial process by electing Egbunnu as Agadagba-elect at a meeting last Saturday, and to be crowned within 14 days. “Some mischief makers in and outside government, for selfish reasons, are misinforming the government and using the cloak of government to brew crisis in Arogbo Ibe on the subject of the Agadagba of Arogbo Chieftaincy.” He disclosed that armed security personnel, including soldiers and naval officers, were deployed to the community allegedly by Chief Bibopere Ajube, whose cronies and allies supported Egbunnu. He said it did not make sense that Mr. Donald Ojogo, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, "who is not the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs attended the meeting and purported election as a representative of the state government. “It is manifest that he is collaborating with Chief Bibopere Ajube to set Arogbo Ibe on fire over the Agadagba vacant stool,” he said, describing it “as an affront on the judicial process and is condemned in strong terms.” The Perebiri Ruling House emphasized that pending the outcome of the matter in court, its members would continue to be law-abiding citizens, saying “we won’t fight; whosoever it favours, we will support. We are all brothers.” The indigenes implored Governor Akeredolu to “call to order all the agents of government and their cronies Makun Kingdom and his wife, Shakirat Oluwole as Yeye Asiwaju Odo of Makun Kingdom. He said: “Greatness comes to only those who prepare for it and therefore the youths should not fold their hands and expect governance to fall into their laps. I am gladdened by this honour by Oba Timothy Akinsanya and the people of Makun Kingdom. “This can only come at a time like this when our youths are in a dilemma of choices. Leadership nugatory because the deeds had been done already before the judgement. It insisted that the court was asked to stop the governor from constituting Justice Boade Panel of Enquiry, whereas the panel had already been constituted before the judgement. The Ibadan Mogajis maintained that the statement credited to Chief Oladoja “is motivated and seriously intended to cause a breach of the peace and civil disorder in Ibadanland. No Oba was sacked and the Obas appointed and inaugurated by His Excellency, Sen. Isiaq Ajimobi remains and they will continue to enjoy and act as Obas unless otherwise decided by the Court of Appeal.” in order to avoid a breakdown of law and order over an attempt to impose Chief Doubra Egbunnu as Agadagba-elect.” Govt dispells rumours In his reaction, the Commissioner for Lands, Donald Ojogo, dispelled the allegations against the government and its functionaries, saying the emergence of Egbunnu as the Agadagba-elect was in accordance with the Chieftaincy Law and tradition of the community. Ojogo said: “The government followed due process. When government follows due process to do anything, there is bound to be aggrieved persons. Those people making these allegations are only trying to raise eyebrows where there is no issue.” He acknowledged the fact that he was present during the meeting where a new Agadagba-elect was picked, but stressed that he “didn’t go there as a Commissioner. I went there as a member of the ruling house. is earned and so the youths of Nigeria should develop themselves and prepare for governance not just pointing accusing fingers at the leaders of today but getting involved in the election process as they learn and develop their leadership skills. “Our youths will make the change only when they are ready. I am prepared to mentor as many as possible because the youths of a nation are the trustees of posterity,” he said.