Activities at the Benue State University, Makurdi was on Monday stopped by protesting students of the institution who blocked and shut down all the main entrances into the school in opposition to increment of school fees by the management.
The university approved the increment of the school fees from N56,000 to N92,000 per session.
But the students, who were visibly angry over the decision of the school authority, stormed the school around 8am, took over the gates, locked up and displaced security manning the main gate of the university bringing to a halt the inflow and outflow of human and vehicular movement into the university.
Describing the increment as a betrayal, one of the protesting students who pleaded anonymity told newsmen that “the increment is coming when the state is experiencing some economic challenges. We therefore are demanding for its reversal”.
“The decision of the school authority to increase fees is whimsical, inconsiderate and wicked and coming when many student cannot even afford the old regime of school fees”.
He said, “the school authority is not sensitive to our plight, even when there was no increment many students could not pay their school fees. A situation which led to the crises that resulted to the closure of the school early this year. Students were also barred from writing examination because they could not pay”.
The protesting students carried placards some which read: “our parents are being owed by the state government”, “where we shall get the fees to pay”. Right now, said another student, “the state government owes our parents about seven months’ salary arrears and those working at the local government are being owed about twelve months”, he said.
But the Management of the Benue state University said those protesting were miscreants who were only parading themselves as students of the university.
The school management in a press statement signed by the Acting Registrar Mrs. Catherine Terlumun Bur and made available to newsmen yesterday in Makurdi, described the protest as worrisome most especially that the university is scheduled to commence accreditation of programmes by the National Universities Commission from Monday 21st May (yesterday).
The statement reads in part; “the university is yet to conduct election into the leadership of the students union since the expiration of the tenure of the immediate past Executive Committee.
Management wish to warn the perpetrators to vacate the gate in their own interest as it will not hesitate to avail itself of lawful means to deal with the situation.
“For purposes of emphases, management hereby reiterates its resolve to ensure that timelines for registration and other activities are strictly observed.”