Five students rusticated by the management of University of Benin (UNIBEN) have rejected the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Farrade Orumwense’s conditional offer to uplift their suspension.The students were rusticated for allegedly leading a protest against increase in school/hostel fees.The embattled students had staged a demonstration on November 24, 2017, over the hike, an action the school management said was allegedly meant to disrupt its 47th founders’ day lecture and 43rd convocation ceremony.
Those affected are the SUG President, Osamudiamen Ogbidi, Justus Aidenagnon, Innocent Momodu, Goodnews Ehiabhi and Patrick Majekodumi.Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr. Michael Osasuyi, who confirmed the Senate’s decision to reporters, disclosed that two of the erring students were rusticated for two academic sessions while the others would miss one academic session each.
However, a meeting aimed at resolving the issue between the university’s management and a factional leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Monday was said to have ended in a stalemate after the affected students rejected the school’s condition that they tender apology letter in order to be reinstated.
The students and NANS leadership were said to have queried the apology letter condition because according to them, the students’ protest was peaceful and geared towards expressing their grievances.
Notwithstanding, the factional NANS President, Aruna Kadiri led a protest at the institutions Ugbowo campus on Monday to demand the unconditional reinstatement of the “SUG Five” and urged other students to stay away from lecture venue until the rusticated students are recalled.
Reacting to the development, the university’s spokesman said: “the students remain rusticated and management has not given any conditional offer.”Meanwhile, Edo Forum of Patriots in a letter by the chairman, Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo appealed to the university authorities to rescind their decision.
It said “As a socio-cultural organization whose objectives inter alia is to stimulate actions towards role modeling for our youths, otherwise referred to as our children for crucial leadership of our communities and country. This delegation is to respectfully seeking your reconsideration concerning some students who were recently rusticated by the management of our revered citadel of learning – the University of Benin for their roles in the protest against increased school fees that took place during the convocation ceremony.
‘We respectfully plead for your fatherly intervention, and cause the rusticated students an assured opportunity to drive their academic aspirations to fruition. Since we play the role of parents and guardians, we feel obliged to intervene for the unconditional reinstatement of the rusticated students. Sir, as an in loco parentis of value, class and virtue as yourself, we appeal that you to temper justice with mercy and accede to our plea.”