The Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin, UNIBEN, Professor Lilian Salami, on Wednesday bowed to pressure of the students as she agreed to reverse the N20,000 penalty for late payment of school fee in the institution.
The usually tough-talking Professor Salami was a pitiable sight to behold in the midst of students, as she shivered and fidgeted while reversing the University’s earlier decisions under duress.
The VC also promised to refund those who have paid the late payment penalty for tuition fee, just has she apologised to the students who demanded for the removal of the University PRO, Dr. Benedicta Ehanire and the Dean of Students of the institution.
The PRO was quoted as saying education in UNIBEN is a privilege and not right, just as she was further quoted as saying those who cannot pay their tuition fee are free to learn a trade or skill.
The students protest which started on Tuesday at both Ekewan Road and Ugbowo campuses of the institution, gathered more momentum on Wednesday, as the students marched to the official lodg of the VC and practically “abducted” her to the scene of the protest.
She was compelled by the aggrieved students to trek from her official lodge to the main gate of the university, Ugbowo campus.
The UNIBEN students were joined in the protest on Wednesday by former students union leaders and students from neighbouring institutions in Delta and Edo State.
Joined in the protest by former students union leaders and students from neighbouring institutions, the Vice-Chancellor was brought to the scene of the protest were she was compelled to make statement of commitment on their demands.
To this effect, the Professor immediately announced reversal of the N20,000 as extra fee for late payment of tuition fee.
The earlier announcement made by the management of the institution that the school has been closed down indefinitely due to the protest, was also reversed as the VC made new announcement of reopening of the university starting from tomorrow (Thursday).
She was also warned by the protesting students and former union leaders that no students of the university be subjected to victimisation arising from the protest, further warning that any act of such would attract worst protest, of which she agreed.
Recall that the students started the protest on Tuesday wherein they blocked the two campuses on Ekenwan Road and Ugbowo in protest against the N20,000 penalty levy for late payment of tuition fee.
It becomes more effective and gathered momentum on Wednesday as the students totally shut down the Ekewan Road and the Benin-Lagos Expressway that leads to the two campuses, thereby suspecting residents plying the routes to untold hardship.