Benue State University Students Protest Over Increments of Tuition Fees, Halt Schools Activities

The students of Benue State University, Makurdi in the early hour of today stage a protest against the school management for increasing the tuition fees. The students protested against the management’s introduction of new conditional charges that led to over 65% hike in tuition fees for new students.

The university management, however, stated that it does not have any student union leadership currently to organize such a protest on campus and described the protesters as miscreants. Report reaching us revealed that a group of persons, who claim to be students of Benue State University, Makurdi, on Monday 21st May, 2018 shut down academic and non-academic activities on the school’s two campuses in protest against the hike in their tuition fees.

Punch Newspaper however, reports that the students went on a protest after the university management introduced new conditional charges that resulted in an over 65% hike in tuition fees for new students. According to information from a reliable source revealed that the students blocked all the entrances leading to the university campus along the Makurdi/Gboko federal highway, demanding that the university management reverse the tuition increment without any delay to enable the new students carry out their necessary registrations.

However, armed security personnel, comprising of police, civil defense and DSS were stationed at the main gates of the university while some of them were seen chasing the protesting students out of the campus.

Reacting to the development, the acting registrar of the university, Catherine Terlumun Bur, stated that some group of miscreants parading themselves as students of the university, in the early hours of Monday 21st May 2018, took over, locked up and displaced the security, manning the main gate of the university, bringing to a halt the inflow and outflow of human and vehicular traffic into the university, including nursery and primary school pupils for reasons yet to be ascertained.

Catherine Terlumun Bur, in her statement, noted that the action was particularly worrisome in view of the fact that the university was scheduled to commence accreditation of programmes by the National Universities Commission (NUC) from Monday 21st May, 2018. She however, stated that the university was yet to conduct election into the leadership of the Student Union Government (SUG) since the expiration of the tenure of the last executive committee, stating that the university does not have any student union leadership currently to direct such a protest on campus.

The acting registrar warned the perpetrators to vacate the gate in their own interest, vowing that the university will not hesitate to avail itself of lawful means to deal with the situation.

According to Catherine Terlumun Bur words; “The university management wishes to inform all bonafide students of this institution to go about their registration and other normal academic activities, as the first semester of the 2017/2018 academic session has commenced in earnest. For purposes of emphasis, management hereby reiterates its resolve to ensure that the timelines for registration and other activities are strictly observed” she said.

It was previously reported that the non-teaching staffs of Nigerian universities lamented on the non-implementation of agreement by the federal government and threatened to resume their strike which was suspended on 15th March, 2018.

The workers expressed displeasure over federal government’s failure to implement the agreement it reached with them during the strike. The workers said they were unhappy with the rate to which government is giving approvals for the establishment of new universities instead of providing resources and raising the standard of existing ones.

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