UNIBEN SUG president calls for calm over army-students clash

The Students’ Union President of the University of Benin, Edo state, Comrade Foster Amadin, has appealed for calm amongst the university students over the recent clash between some Army personnel attached to the Supply & Transport, and the students.

It would be recalled that the students of institution and the men of the Nigerian Army clashed on Thursday at the one of the Automated Teller Machines (ATM), located inside the school, over whom to make withdrawal first from the ATM.

Amadin, who stated this in a statement made available to journalist on Friday in Benin City, assured the students that the university management in collaboration with the Union are handling the issue, and making efforts towards ensuring justice is served.

He added the commandant of S&T Barracks has contacted the management of the university and assured that the army personnel involved would be disciplined accordingly.

Amadin said: “A sour incidence took place on Ugbowo Campus today (Thursday) in which some young army trainees where moving from one ATM machine to another to withdraw while telling students who have being on queue for hours to give way for them.

“In one of the ATM stand, one of our students who have been on the queue for a long time refuse to give way, and claims she is making a video with her phone about their actions.

“The campus was all peaceful until the army trainees decided to unleash beating and dehumanizing assault on the student and others around.

“This led to an intervention from the Uniben security department who were attempting to de-escalate the already tensed situation, but were also met with dehumanizing treatment from the army trainees, in which some members of the security department were assaulted.

“This led to some level of resistance from the students and security department to restrain the army trainee who was visibly attempting to cause further assault on campus and even threatened to bring more persons to come and cause rampage on campus.

“A video is seen circulating where an army trainee on uniform is being restrained by passerbys at the University of Benin main gate to avoid further escalation on the matter before he jumped the fence to run off.

“Before the video was taken, students and security officers where already subjected to dehumanizing treatment of rolling in the floor, physical assault and the destructions of smart phones.

“Greatest Uniben students, the video circulating online about the restraining of the army trainee on uniform did not capture the initial provocation on our students.

“None the less, it is important at this point that we do not lose the public view as intellectuals and peaceful students, we will trust the University authorities to handle the matter closely and trust that no one who should be punished will be left unpunished.

“Let it be known that University of Benin Students are intellectuals, law abiding citizens, and patriotic Nigerians who respect the army officers for their sacrifices, but none the less they will not be cowed into suppression by any body or group.

“As we call for calm and caution amongst our students, we expect the the Army Commandant will take the matter seriously as he as assured us and ensure justice is served,” he demanded.

The Uniben SUG President, however, blamed the students-Army clash on what he said to be the artificial hardship caused by inadequate cash flow in the economy by banks in the country.

He lamented that students of the university “are made to spend useful hours queueing at ATM stands while waiting for cash to meet basic end meets

“The altercation between the University community and the army trainees should not have occurred if our banks had ensured that the ATMs are properly filled up and cash flow is released to facilitate end meets.

“To this end, the Union will be making stops at each of this banks in Ugbowo campus Tomorrow Friday, 3rd February, to enquire the cause of cash scarcity on campus despite the presence of numerous banks and ATM machines with the view to resolving this gridlocks and to ensure our students can spend their meaningful time on their studies”, Amadin assured the students.


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