Ondo Politics: Ajayi shuns debate as Akeredolu, Jegede clash over varsity tuition fees
The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, who is also the candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, was absent during the governorship debate held in Akure, the state capital on Wednesday.
The debate organized by Channels Television, which was designed for standard-bearers of political parties who will participate in the October 10 governorship polls, was attended by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as well as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Eyitayo Jegede.
With Jedege late for about 30 minutes after the debate had begun, the tuition fees of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, AAUA topped the discussion of the night.
During the debate, Jegede had promised to reduce the tuition fees from its current state of about N130,000 which he said had made many students drop out of school, while Akeredolu said he was not prepared to reduce the tuition fees if the students were to be given quality education.
According to Akeredolu, the state was biting more than it could chew by having three state universities.
The governor also described the uproar as regards the AAUA tuition as an attempt to blackmail his government.
He maintained that the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo charged as much as N400,000 and students of the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa paid about N150,000 before he came to office.
On revenue generation, Akeredolu said he increased the State IGR from N700m monthly to over N2bn monthly, adding that he expanded the tax net to capture more tax payers.