Students protest non-payment of bursary allowance

Scores of students of Kwara State origin on Wednesday protested at the entrance of the Government House, Ilorin against the non-payment of their bursary allowances.

The students operating under the National Association of Kwara State Students sang anti-government songs and carried placards of different inscriptions.

Some of the inscriptions read, “Governor Ahmed, fulfill your promises to us;’ ‘ Gov. Ahmed, pay us our bursary allowances;’ “Remember the plight of students of Kwara State origin;’ ‘Students are suffering; Kwara State Government, come to our aid; and ‘Pay us our bursary.”

To ensure that the peaceful protest did not degenerate into a breach of public peace, large number of security operatives were mobilised to the Government House during and after the protest.

The NAKSS President, Mohammed Lateef, in an interview with journalists said they were protesting against the non-payment of their 2013 and 2014 bursary allowances by the state government.

According to him, the bursary arrears amounted to N235m. The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, later invited the representatives of the protesting students to a discussion.

Ahmed was said to have appealed to the students to be patient with the state government.

He reportedly told the students that the state government was desirous of discharging its duties and obligations to them and the entire citizens but was constrained by paucity of funds.

The governor stated that the dwindling revenue from the Federation Account was inhibiting many states, including Kwara, from executing most of their welfare programmes and policies.

While urging the students to show understanding with the state government, Abdulfatah promised that the state government would attend to the needs of the students and execute many of its people-oriented programmes as soon as the financial challenges abated.

The governor urged the students not to take laws into their hands, as according to him, the government was committed to alleviating the plight of the residents.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Kwara State Command, Mr. Ajayi Okesanmi, said security operatives were mobilised to the Government House to ensure that the students’ protest remained peaceful.

He said, “We had intelligence information that the students wanted to protest at the Government House.

“So, in order not for the peaceful protest to be hijacked by miscreants, that was why security men were mobilised to monitor them and ensure that the protest remained peaceful.

“The protest was peaceful and there was no breach of public peace.”

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