Protesting Nigerian students shut down highway over week-long power outage in campus

The students of the University of Benin on Wednesday took to the streets, protesting on week-long power outage in their campus, and blocked the ever-busy Benin-Ore Highway causing a disruption to the free flow of vehicular movement

Penpushing reports that the protesting students who have only two weeks until their first semester examinations, declared that the situation was severely affecting their preparation, as it was also recalled that the university was thrown into a blackout following the inability to reach an agreement with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) over a contentious electricity bill.

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“We only had one hour of electricity every day since this issue started. We are tired of studying in the dark. We need electricity to read and prepare for our exams. The university management needs to take responsibility and fix this issue’, one of the protesting students said.

The protest, which began early in the morning, also resulted with many passengers stranded and unable to reach their destinations, while the students were seen carrying placards and chanting slogans as they continued the protest.

Penpushing further reports that one of the students Sarah Osaigbovo, a 300-level student residing at the Ugbowo campus emphasized that they (protesting students) will not discontinue the protest until the issue was addressed by the concern authorities, stressing that they cannot afford to fail examinations because of the university’s negligence.

The students despite the rainfall declared that they were determined to continue the protest, just as an angry commuter, who refused to disclose his identity lamented over the development, as he could not get to his work place.

I’m supposed to be at work right now, but I’ve been stuck here for hours. I understand the students’ plight, but they need to find a better way to protest’, the bittered commuter emphasised

Penpushing also reports that, the university management was said to have expressed discontent after the Benin Disco reportedly made an upward review of the institution’s monthly electricity charges by over 200 per cent, with the monthly bill 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.

Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) , Benedicta Ehanire, when contacted as the protest by the students lasted said a meeting of the Senate was ongoing on how to resolve the issue.

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