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UNIBEN shuts campus as students protest fee hike

The University of Benin (UNIBEN) has ordered the shutdown of its campus over the protest by its students.

On Tuesday, undergraduates at the Edo varsity had blocked off its gate to protest an increase in their school fees.

Lectures and other academic activities within the campus had been stalled as a deluge of students held up placards.

Some protesters in the institution had said the school authorities increased the fees for science students from N45,400 to N65,400 and that of art-related courses from N41,400 to N61,400.

It is understood that the varsity, which resumed on August 16, gave a two-week deadline for payment while fixing a fine of up to N20,000 as the payment to be made if students didn’t meet their financial obligations as at when due.

But in a statement on Tuesday night, Lilian Salami, the vice-chancellor, ordered the closure of the university.

The statement said the development followed reports that the student protest was being hijacked by hoodlums.

The vice-chancellor has reviewed the agitation by a section of the students’ body today Tuesday 14th September 2021,” the statement signed by Ademola Bobola, the varsity registrar, read.

“After due consultation, and in the overall interest of the general students’ body, the vice-chancellor has, on behalf of the Senate, approved the closure of the university with immediate effect.

“This is based on security reports to avoid the students’ actions being hijacked by hoodlums and thereby prevent any form of breakdown of law and order within and outside the campuses of the university.

“Accordingly, all students are to vacate the hostels and the university premises not later than 12 noon on Wednesday 15th, September 2021.”

None of the varsity officials contacted were available to further comment on the development.

It is understood that the protest by the students is to continue from Wednesday morning, despite the ultimatum.

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