The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ogun State Chapter, has slammed Governor Dapo Abiodun for asking each student of private boarding schools to pay N25,000 for COVID-19 and malaria tests.

Newsbreakers reported earlier that many parents took to the street to protest on Sunday after they were asked to pay N25,000 to get their children tested for COVID-19.

The government had mandated the possession of a COVID-19 test certificate as a prerequisite for re-admission into boarding school. However, while the state government pays for students in public boarding schools, their counterparts in private ones are to pay N25,000 for the test.

PDP expressed their shock at hearing “the insensitive request by Governor Abiodun-led Ogun State government that secondary school students should pay a sum of N25,000 each for a laughable COVID-19 test as part of overall requirements for the reopening of schools for SS3 students to write their examinations.”

It said, “with great concerns how a government, which ought to be a reliable source of succour to the people, decided to add more to their sufferings, especially with the excruciating pains the people of Ogun have endured” as a result of the current global pandemic.

The party’s Publicity Secretary, Akinloye Bankole, reacted to the development in a statement. According to him, the Ogun PDP condemned in strong terms, what it described as the “obnoxious request issued by the state government through one Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, a Special Adviser to Governor Abiodun.”

Mr. Bankole said, “For us as a party, such a request is sheer callousness. It signals irresponsibility. It clearly beats any sensible imagination that a government that prides itself as progressive has successfully thrown the required milk of compassion for the people to the dogs all in a wicked attempt to wreak untoward hardship on the people. Perhaps, we should remind this decorated agony called government that the central reality is that about 90% of Ogun people cannot afford such a huge burden of N25,000.”

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He continued, “For us, such tests, if necessary at all, should be an exclusive right of the affected students, either in private or public schools. They should enjoy unhindered access to such tests if the government is truly ready to fight coronavirus. It must be stated without mincing words that PDP, being a direct reflection of the collective aspirations of the people, which the ruling government has serially battered and maltreated, shall continue to partner with the affected students, their over-stretched parents and other critical stakeholders in the educational sector and other sectors in making sure that all draconian policies of the government are rejected.”

“Lastly, while the PDP wishes to extend its greatest sympathy and solidarity with Ogun parents and other stakeholders, we make bold to say that it’s the height of blatant insensitivity for the ruling government to pass its civic responsibilities on parents who are already over-burdened with all sorts of agonies and misfortunes that the ruling government’s ‘Next Level’ represents,” he added.

Mr Bankole said, “The state government should come down from its high horse of arbitrariness by withdrawing the controversial request for a test fee and begin to cultivate a compassionate habit of responsibility towards the welfare of the people.”

 

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