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UNIBEN Suspends Students’ Union Indefinitely After Clash On Campus

The management of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), in Edo State, has suspended Students’ Union of the institution indefinitely and with immediate effect.

According to report, the suspension of the Students’ Union is following the incident that happened at the University’s Senior Staff Club on Friday 12th April, 2024.

Members of the Union were said to have invaded an interactive session by staff of the university with the Edo 2024 governorship candidate of Labour Party, Olumide Akpata and in the process reportedly demanded a halt of the event, over alleged claims that they (Students’ Union) were not informed of the event.

In the process, a senior lecturer and member of the institution’s Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), was reportedly attacked, injured and eventually landed in the hospital.

But, the Students’ Union leadership had denied any wrongful doing, claiming to have responded to a tip-off that students were gathered at the staff club restricted to only registered staff members at an ungodly hour.

Following the incident, management of the university announced the set up of a panel to investigate the incident with a view to unraveling the immediate and remote causes of the incident.

The UNIBEN ASUU had last week threatened to boycott resumption and to embark on indefinite strike, if members of the Students’ Union were not sanctioned for reportedly attacking their member, claiming their lives were in danger.

They claimed that the incident was a security threat on campus, while citing a 2021 incident where the current Vice Chancellor, Prof Lilian Salami was forcefully removed from her residence and forced to walk on foot by students protesting against N20,000 late school fee payment charge.

Consequently, in a statement signed by A. A. Bobola, Registrar of the university, Monday night and made available to CAMPUS GIST, he said the Vice Chancellor has approved the suspension of the University’s Students Union after due consideration of the Panel’s report.

The statement partly reads: “The suspension which is indefinite, takes immediate effect, that is, from today, Monday 29th April, 2024.

“Accordingly, all Officers of the Students’ Union are to handover all properties of the Union in their possession to the Dean, Students’ Affairs not later 4.00pm on Tuesday 30 April, 2024.

“In the interim, a Caretaker Committee composed of representatives of Faculties, Schools and Institutes has been approved to coordinate students’ activities during the period of suspension.”

“The above directive of the Vice Chancellor is hereby communicated for the attention of the University Community and compliance of the erstwhile Union Officers as appropriate.”

Reacting to the development in a terse statement made available to CAMPUS GIST midnight Monday, the President of the suspended UNIBEN Students’ Union, Comrade Alpha-King Lemuel Osahon, called on the students to remain calm, saying, ‘we are on the matter.’

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Wisdom Nwedene studied English Language at Ebonyi State University. He is a writer, an editor and has equally interviewed many top Nigerian Politicians and celebrities. For publication of your articles, press statements, upload of biography, video content, contact him via email: nwedenewisdom@gmail.com

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