By Ehi Ekhator
Five members of the Students Union Government SUG at the University of Benin who were rusticated have been recalled by the University Management. They resumed on Monday morning.
The students, Elvis Ogbidi, Students’ Union president; Justus Aidenagbon, secretary-general; Innocent Momodu, assistant secretary-general; Goodnews Ehisbhi, public relations officers; and Benjamin, also known as Sankara, an activist were rusticated after protesting against the increase in school fees.
The school authority had claimed that the protest was meant to publicly humiliate Vice Chancellor since it was fixed on the same day with the 47th Founders’ Day lecture and 43rd convocation ceremony.
The University of Benin Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASSU had distance itself from the decision, urging the school to recall the students as protest is part legitimate instruments to address unfair treatment.
ASUU in a statement signed by its chairman J. U Iyasele and the Secretary, R. N Chikogwu on February 7.
“The University of Benin branch of Academic Staff Union of Universities thus dissociated itself from (i) the recent increase in fees and charges at the University of Benin and (ii) the rustication of five students including some leaders of the students union of the University of Benin” The statement stated.
At a meeting to resolve the issue, the students had earlier rejected a condition by the University Management to tender unreserved apology before they could be recalled.
Edo Forum of Patriots, a Benin social-cultural organisation led by its convener, Aiyamekhue Edokpolo had also appealed to the authorities to recall the rusticated students, adding that the crisis was capable of destroying the future of the students.
NAIJA CENTER NEWS on Sunday gathered that the students were likely to resume school on Monday, 12 February after series of appeal to the VC.
Confirming, the rusticated SUG President Elvis Ogbidi told NAIJA CENTER NEWS that the management was yet to communicate the decision official even though they had been verbally informed.
Ogbide said “To the depth of our knowledge, it has not been officially communicated. So far, it is a rumour. From all indication and the pressure mounted on the management, they have actually promised to call us on or before Tuesday this week. “
The University Public Relations Office, PRO Mr. Micheal Osasuyi told NAIJA CENTER NEWS that he was not aware of the call.
“I am not aware of that. I am aware the students have sent in their appeal” He said.
From reports, the rusticated students resumed school today. However, the management is yet to restore their positions in the Student Union Government.