Students from oil-rich Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government Areas of Ondo State have protested the non-payment of their bursary and scholarship award by the state government.
The students also lamented infrastructural rots in their communities.
The students who trooped out as early as 8am on Wednesday converged on the Government House at Alagbaka and barricaded the road leading to the Government House, preventing workers in the Accountant General’s office from gaining entry into the premises.
Armed with placards of various inscriptions, the protesting students alleged the officials and the Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) of neglect, saying no developmental projects in the area in the last four years.
Speaking with newsmen, the National President of Ilaje Students Association, Agbejoye Oluwatomisin, lambasted the state government over failure to remit the 40 per cent derivation fund accruing to the oil-producing area of the state to OSOPADEC for the execution of projects in the communities.
Oluwatomisin alleged that the Chairman of the commission, Sam Erejuwa, had failed the communities and students from the communities saying the OSOPADEC chairman has not paid the bursary since he assumed office.
According to him, the state government has abandoned their communities, saying most of the communities have been submerged by ocean surges, saying the development has deprived their parents of their means of livelihood making it difficult for them to pay their school fees.
Another leader of the protesting students, Babalola Gbonigun, explained that a number of projects embarked upon by the previous administration in the area had been abandoned by the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration since the inception.
He noted that the failure of the state government to remit the 40 per cent derivation fund to the OSOPADEC has deprived the oil-producing communities of infrastructure development.
He maintained that the state government and chairman of OSOPADEC had failed the people of the oil-producing areas.
The students, however, gave the state government a 7-day ultimatum to remit all the funds accruing to the oil-producing communities to OSOPADEC, while giving OSOPADEC a two-week ultimatum to pay all backlog of bursary due to students of high institutions of learning from the oil-producing area or face the consequences.