The Ooni Of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, on Wednesday night said that traditional rulers in the country would not allow the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members to rest until they resolve the issue of the on going strike between them.
The traditional ruler, who said this while unveiling an education Trust Fund named: ‘Ooni of Ife Tertiary Tuition Fund,’ targeted at paying tuition fees of five million students across Nigerian varsities at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ile-Ife, affirmed that “traditional rulers are now lobbyists in the case and we will not be tired because, if the students are not engaged, it is the traditional rulers that will be put in troubles in their different domains.
“The youths are not happy that they are not currently in their various schools and that is why they are not busy here and there and I must tell you that, they should not be molested nor be victimised because they have been left unattended to for a long period of time by the concerned authorities.
“I am putting together Education Trust Fund to support what the government is doing. We are not all safe. We have to cut our social activities and focus more on youth empowerment. It is better to stay and fix this country than to be running out of the country.
“We are sitting on a keg of gunpowder if we do not look at how best to assist our youths. I have said it before and I will keep saying it; we all have a feel of their anger during the #EndSARS protests, we must begin to engage them productively.
“We have between 7 million and 10 million of them in tertiary institutions and they need to pay close to N500 billion in tuition fees in January, 2021. But how would this demand be met when the bulk of the parents of these students are petty traders, peasant farmers and other average Nigerian parents who might not be able to get the needed fees to return to school? That is the reason behind the project.
“Earlier before now, I have personally assisted many in paying tuition fees, vocational trainings and other empowerment initiatives but I have come up with this to bring more beneficiaries on board.”
Speaking on how funds would be generated for the project, the Ooni said that individuals and organisations home and abroad will be contacted for donations to ensure the success of the lofty idea.
“I am appealing to all our people to let us come together and achieve this for our youths. I am promising that everything will be counted for to the last kobo while details of beneficiaries would be verifiable for accountability,” Oba Ogunwusi said.