ASUU threatens to boycott resumption over violence on UNIBEN campus

University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Benin City, Edo State.

UNIBEN main gate

The University of Benin (UNIBEN) branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Monday, threatened to boycott resumption on the 28th of April 2024, over violence on campus.
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ASUU is demanding immediate action and necessary processes be initiated to nip in the bud the incessant violent attacks on lecturers and management staff by some errant students of the institution.

The ASUU leadership said it is constrained to embark on teaching and research in an environment in which lecturers are prime targets for brutalisation or elimination by some groups and individuals.

ASUU’s position is coming on the heels of the attempted murder of Dr. Presley Osemwengie, a lecturer in the Department of Economics and member of the University of Benin Branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), by some members of the Executive Committee of the University of Benin Students Union.

Chairman and Secretary of UNIBEN ASUU branch Ray Chikogu and Success Abusomwan in a statement said Dr. Presley Osemwengie was attacked, hit in the back of his head with a small axe, and left for dead in the pool of his blood by some of those in the company of the Students Union President.
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“On that fateful day, the President of the Students Union of the University of Benin marched upon a gathering of staff of the University and their invited guests, ordering them to discontinue their interaction as he was not pre-informed and consequently, did not grant permission for the interaction to be held,” they said.

“In the resulting melee, Dr. Presley Osemwengie was attacked; hit in the back of his head with a small axe and left for dead in the pool of his own blood by some of those in the company of the Students Union President.

“It is necessary to note that this worrisome trend began with the assault by both students and non students of the University on the person of the current Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin in September 2021 when she was humiliated and marched from her residence to the Main Gate of the University in very hostile circumstances.
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“Other similar and very unsavoury incidents in which students of the University of Benin have threatened and brutalised lecturers of the University have also been reported at different times. This cannot continue.

“We wish to now state that it is impossible for our members to hereafter dispose themselves to any teaching and research in an environment in which they are prime targets for brutalisation or elimination by some of the students they are labouring to impact with the wealth of their intellectual property.
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“So, it is incumbent on the Administration of the University of Benin to provide adequate security for staff of the University and create an atmosphere conducive for effective teaching and learning on our campuses.

“To the end that our members will feel safe to conduct their business of research, teaching, and supervision going forward from the 28th of April 2024 (being the date of resumption for the next academic session) therefore, and without prejudice to the work of the Committee set.”
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