Protest fallout: University of Benin shuts down indefinitely

The management of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Edo State, on Thursday, shut down academic activities in the institution indefinitely, following Wednesday protest of students over power outage in the campus for over a week.

Penpushing reports that it is recalled that the protesting students who had two weeks to their first semester examination on Wednesday took to the streets and equally blocked the ever-busy Benin-Ore Highway lamenting that situation was severely affecting their preparation.

Lush Arena

The protesters, equally called for a downward review of transport fare by the University of Benin (UNIBEN) shuttle service, which was increased with effect from July 1, 2024, and hell-bent on continuing the protest unless their demands were met.

Penpushing further reports that record, however, has it that the university was thrown into a blackout by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), following the inability to reach agreement over contentious electricity billings.

The monthly bill was said to have jumped from about N80 million to between N200 million and N280 million, forcing the university to resort to power generators as well as rationalisation of power on the two campuses and hostels.

Penpushing also reports that the Public Relations Officer of the University, Benedicta Ehanire, in a statement attributed the decision of the management to shut the campus followed the refusal of the students to shift grounds on their demands.

The university spokesperson in the notice of closure described the students’ demand for 24-hour supply of electricity as unrealistic, hence, the resolved by the authorities to shut down academic activities indefinitely

‘Following the insistence of students of the University of Benin not to shift grounds on their demands for 24 hours supply of electricity and more, considered unrealistic by the University’s Senate, the university has shut down academic activities indefinitely’, the statement said.

‘Students are to vacate the hostels immediately while all the relevant units of the university are to take note and comply. However, non-teaching staff and staff on essential duties are not affected by the shutdown’, the statement emphasised.

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