UNIBEN students lament ‘no water, no light’ situation days after protest
Three days after protesting students of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ekewan campus, shutdown activities at the university for many hours over lack of water, electricity and deplorable conditions of the hostels, the situation was yet to be remedied yesterday despite assurances that it would be fixed at the weekend.
On Friday, the entrance gates into the campus were locked for hours by students protesting against lack of basic amenities, disrupting activities on the campus. The students had taken over the gate at about 7:00a.m. before most staff and students could resume for the day.
One of the students who pleaded for anonymity said: “We don’t have water to bathe, we don’t have light. People are suffering. We pay for school fees, maintenance fee and other levies, yet we can’t enjoy basic facilities to make it conducive for learning. If the Benin disco will not give us light and the school will not put on its generator, it will lead us into frustration and when we are frustrated, we will be depressed and can’t learn. Also, the school premises is not well maintained, we are living with snakes and dangerous reptiles inside the campus.”
But while calming frayed nerves, Public Relations Officer of the university, Micheal Osasuyi, said the epileptic supply of electricity is a national problem and the power generating set in the campus has developed fault, which has made it impossible to pump water; but it is receiving attention. “We are doing everything possible to see how electricity can be restored to campus. The generator is being fixed,” he assured, which made the students later threw open the locked gates.
But yesterday, the situation was still the same with students saying the problem is escalating with each passing day.
“UNIBEN is trying to drive students mad with this no water and light situation in hostels. There is almost no diesel to power the hostels and pump water. Since this semester started it is the same story and we are already tired of their nonchalance to students welfare.”