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NANS faults suspension of UNIBEN SUG, wants decision reversed in 72 hours

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National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone B, yesterday, issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the management of University of Benin, (UNIBEN) to reverse the suspension of the Students Union Government (SUG) executives or face mass protests.

In a statement issued in Benin City, Zone B Coordinator of NANS, Comrade Etinyene Friday Offongekpe, expressed concern over the development, insisting that the university authorities should have explored the option of dialogue rather than suspend the SUG executive.

He said NANS would not rest on its oars until the issues around the suspension were resolved.

“After proper consultation and consideration, the zonal leadership assured the suspended SUG executive of UNIBEN our total support and solidarity even as we advise the management to review the decision and give room for dialogue, failing which, NANS will mobilise the zonal and national leadership to the institution until the executive is reinstated.

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“The management should expect mass action in the university if nothing is done within three days from March 30, 2021,” he said.

In the statement titled: An Injury To One, Is Injury To All, Offongekpe said NANS leadership received the news of the suspension of the duly elected SUG through a telephone call from the President, Comrade Benjamin Arthur.

He said Arthur told him that the management sent the students parking from the university hostels because the facilities would be used for the National Sports Festival without providing them alternative accommodation.

He said he (Arthur) also informed him that all attempts to reach the Vice Chancellor failed, as the Dean, Students Affairs gave them reasons why the Senate suspended the union’s executive with an alternative to hand pick some students for a caretaker committee in the university.

Offongekpe urged the union members, zonal executives and NANS comrade in the state to maintain the status quo, as the zonal and national leadership had received the report.

The Guardian recalled that UNIBEN authorities suspended the SUG executive and named a caretaker committee in its place.

A statement issued by Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the institution, Dr. Benedicta Ehanire, disclosed that the Senate took the decision to forestall breakdown of law and order following a planned protest in reaction to postponement of the school’s academic calendar.

She explained that the students were planning the protests in spite of Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami’s efforts at providing water, electricity and enhanced infrastructure for effective learning.

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