The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has described as very unfortunate the face-off between some students of the University of Benin, UNIBEN and some soldiers last Thursday during which some students and security personnel were injured.
In a statement on Saturday by the NANS National Vice President, Inter-campus Affairs, Comrade Vanessa Egbeahie, the association expressed happiness that the whole issue had been amicably resolved through the intervention of the university’s management and other stakeholders.
However, the body said it would need to clarify some issues regarding a video that trended on the social media about the incident.
“This is a memo to clarify that the video that trended on the 2nd of February in all social media platforms was not in anyway the act of UNIBEN students. Please note that the students of the University of Benin are well known for their high moral standards and zero tolerance for violence and are not in anyway violent and rebellious people. The students are calm and peaceful individuals of the great institution.
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“In correction of the cooked up stories going around the internet, I do hereby write to give some clarity to what actually transpired. At about noon of February 2nd, 2023, solders came into the premises of the University of Benin and assaulted students by beating and chasing them out of the long ATM queues.
“Like I earlier stated, our students are very respectful persons and they didn’t object them or deny them access in any way, as they allowed these solders have their way.
“Only to be assaulted, punished and beaten in return as they were accused of recording them, phones were destroyed and students were asked to roll on the floor, while some got punched on their faces.
“The security officers on ground were not left out of the assault as they were slapped and dragged as well. In retaliation to the video that was trending, armed soldiers visited the school campus again, broke windshields of several private owned and school owned vehicles, numbering 40 in counts, assaulted and flogged security officers to a pulp and left them in a state of little breath.
“All manner of ill treatment was executed in the school premises by the same soldiers that should be safeguarding and protecting the citizens of this great country.
“Lastly, the news of my humble self pouring water on the captains from the barracks is totally bogus and I urge the general public to count it as fake.
“This sad and devastating scenario is something we pray and hope not to repeat itself. We are happy that peace and calmness have been restored to the campus after such outrageous act due to the help of our proactive Vice Chancellor.
“I want to specially thank the Vice Chancellor of the Uni!versity of Benin, Professor Lilian Salami and the DVC Academics – Professor Ray Ozolua for their continuous support and efforts to restore peace and stability back to the campus alongside the Edo State Government, the state Police Command and the DSS.
“We hope this would be totally resolved and remember an injury to one is an injury to all. God bless Nigerian Students God bless the Great Students of the University of Benin,” NANS stated.