Tony Osauzo, Benin
Commuters, yesterday evening, had hectic time at the Ugbowo end of Benin-Lagos highway, following protest by Pharmacy students of the University of Benin, Edo State, which caused gridlock.
The students were said to be protesting over fears that their graduating colleagues may not be able to undergo induction due to non-completion of the programme, arising from two months strike by their lecturers, over non-payment of sundry allowances by the university management.
“Our lecturers went on strike last year, on this same matter, and management assured them their issues would be looked into but nothing was done and, two months ago, they embarked on a fresh strike and the implication is that our students, who are due for induction, would not be able to go through that and that is what they need to undergo training processes while those who are still in school cannot even write examinations when their counterparts from other departments are writing. So, we want management to look into it,” one of the students said.
In his reaction, the university spokesman, Michael Osasuyi, said the allowances being demandedare not known to the school and that the school’s management has met; with a view to resolving the issue.
At the time of filing this report, the students would not allow any vehicle to enter the university while many vehicles coming from Lagos had to pass through a road opposite 7Up Bottling Company to access the city centre through Siluko Road. There are indications that the protest may continue today, even as the students were persuaded to go back to campus at about 5.25 pm yesterday.
“Well, we have been able to persuade the students to go back into campus as at 5.25pm. This was done with collaboration from the school security apparatus, the Students Union Government and management, but, they have threatened to resume tomorrow.
“We will continue to persuade them to sheathe their swords while management look into the issues,” chairman, Joint Action Committee (JCC) of the Edo State axis of the National Association Nigerian Students (NANS), Salami David, said.