UNIBEN students clash with soldiers over cash withdrawal
Students of the University of Benin clashed with some soldiers at the school premises on Thursday over cash withdrawal at one of the bank’s Automated Teller Machines.
The soldiers’ alleged attempts to jump the queue was met with resolute resistance from the students who had been waiting patiently in queue for their turn.
According to a source, the students were upset with the S&T Barracks soldiers who had oppressively done the same thing on Wednesday.
The source stated, “On Wednesday they came here and harassed the students. They even asked the students who challenged them to lie on the ground. But today (Thursday) when they came again and wanted to do the same thing, the student resisted.”
While arguments broke between the students and the soldiers, the institution’s chief security officer who intervened was said to have been allegedly beaten by the soldiers.
The development got the students aggrieved and blocked vehicular movement on routes to and fro the school which resulted in a gridlock.
The Divisional Police Officer Ugbowo Division along with few brave Nigerians had to intervene in order to calm the enraged students and permit vehicular traffic around the axis.
When contacted, the state deputy police spokesman, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, said that peace had returned to the neighborhood following multiple appeals to the students, who had been demanding that a colleague’s broken phone be fixed.
The vice chancellor of the school, Prof. Lilian Salami, issued a statement on Friday calling for calm and describing the occurrence as tragic.
The statement reads, “The unfortunate incident of the clash between some students of our university and soldiers on Thursday 2nd February, resulting from alleged resistance of students to the soldiers’ attempt to jump ATM queue on campus has been brought under control and the management of the University is in discussions with the hierarchy of the S&T for amicable resolution.
“The management acknowledges that these are challenging times for everyone and enjoins all to remain calm while efforts are being made to avert a re-occurrence.
“Management also calls on the students to constantly engage dialogue in resolving issues that concern them rather than taking to protests, at any provocation, thereby causing more injury and damage to themselves and other citizens,” the statement added.