By Peterson Ibi/Benin
Students of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) on Wednesday are defying the order by the University’s management that they should vacate their campus hostels today.
Recall that following the near-violent protest that greeted the N20,000 extra charges imposed on late payment of school fees by the students, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Lilian Salami, announced immediate closure of the institution and ordered the students to vacate their respective hostels latest 12 moon.
A check however revealed that the angry students stood their ground, refusing to leave their hostels.
Some military operatives, including soldiers were sighted at one of the female hostels, trying to make them leave, but the students stood their ground.
A female student who attempted to leave the university with her packed clothe box was jeered and booed by other female students who called her coward.
Some other male students were also sighted at the VC’s lodge, attempting to picket the place.
A security vehicle belonging to the Edo State secirtuy outfit, Operation Wabaizigan, driven to the university by police operatives, was forced to reverse back at the main entrance by hundreds of students.
A staff of the University who chose to remain anonymous, said he sighted the VC being driven to the main gate of the University with hundreds of undeterred students round her convoy.
“I passed by the main gate a few moment ago and I saw the VC being driven to the gate, with hundreds of students almost mobbing her convoy.
“I believe she will reverse her closure order, otherwise, with what I saw, it could turn bloody. The students are determined to stand their ground,” the staff said.
As at the time of filling this report, unconfirmed report had it that the University management had rescinded its decision to close the school, reversed the extra charges imposed on the school fees, and that the VC tendered unreserved apology to the students.
Quoting a statement from the University’s Registrar, Ademola Bobola, the source said the management urged the students to disregard the closure order issued on Tuesday.
The purported statement which our correspondent could not independently verify, said: “After due consultation, and in the overall interest of the general students’ body, the Vice Chancellor has, on behalf of Senate, apologized to our dear students.
“This is based on security reports from the Department of State Security (DSS) to avoid the students’ action being hijacked by hoodlums; and thereby prevent any form of breakdown of law and order within and outside the campuses of the University.”