The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has accused Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of plotting to levy students of tertiary institutions in the state to support his re-election campaign in 2019.
The party said the these sums of money would be collected from the students through the heads of such institutions in the state, adding that the management of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, has already commenced the scheme.
Chairman of APC in the state, Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, who spoke in Port Harcourt yesterday, said IAUE, in a circular by its authorities requested students of the institution to pay a ‘dubious’ entrepreneurship training levy of N20,000 each.
Flag-Amachree said: “The collection of this fee of N20,000 is part of a grand design by Governor Wike to use the heads of tertiary institutions in Rivers State to raise funds through sundry levies to support the governor’s 2019 campaigns. Already, students of IAUE have been served a circular to that effect.
“The plan includes levying each student to submit their typed projects with a payment of N20,000 each for the binding of such projects. You can imagine how callous this governor can be.”
He wondered why the governor should compound the problems of students and their parents in Rivers State at a time families are going through rough time to survive.
The APC chairman said: “In most other states in Nigeria, governors are alleviating the burden on students and their parents through scholarships and bursaries but here in Rivers State Governor Wike is heartlessly inflicting pains and anguish on students and their parents.
“It is disheartening how we got to this sorry pass. Elsewhere, caring governors in many states are paying students bursaries and awarding scholarships just to lessen the burden on students and their parents.
“But here, Governor Wike withdrew young men and women the previous administration placed on foreign scholarships and now he is levying students in local institutions in the state to raise money for his 2019 political campaigns. This is wickedness at its highest level.
“Most saddening is that this whole thing is happening at a time the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has uncovered fraudulent withdrawals of over N117billion of our money by Governor Nyesom Wike since he assumed office in 2015 with no explanation or purpose.”
Flag-Amachree called on students and parents to resist the various levies the tertiary institutions are demanding from them as such spurious levies are meant to fund the insatiable lust for money by Wike.
He said: “Let me appeal to our students and their parents not to succumb to the fraudulent levies Wike is using heads of tertiary institutions to request from students.
“Students and parents should vehemently reject the levies; they should refuse to pay those illegal levies as they are only meant to fund Wike’s 2019 campaigns.”
Efforts to get the reaction of the Rivers State government proved abortive as short message services (SMS) to the commissioner for Education, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja and his Information and Communications counterpart, Barrister Emma Okah, were not replied as at the time of filing the report.