UNIBEN Students Protest Power Outage,  Block Movement On Highway

Students of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) blocked vehicular movement on the Benin/Ore highway to protest against power outage in the institution’s campuses in Ugbowo and Ekhewan, Benin.

The university was thrown into darkness following its inability to reach an agreement with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company over perceived contentious electricity billing.

The management of the institution was said to have expressed dismay over the upward review of the institution’s monthly electricity bill from N80 million to N280 million.

This forced the university to resort to alternative power generators and rationalisation on the two campuses.

The protest, which began early in the morning, saw students carrying placards and chanting slogans as they blocked the highway.

A protesting student, who simply gave his name as John, said the one hour of electricity daily had become largely inadequate and had discouraged studying.

He said, “We only have one hour of electricity every day since this issue started. We are tired of studying in the dark.

“We need electricity to read and prepare for our exams. The university management needs to take responsibility and fix this issue.”

Another student who gave her name as Sarah said, “We will not leave the highway until something is done. We can’t afford to fail our exams because of the university’s negligence.”

However, the protest by the angry students left commuters stranded as many lost income due to the road blockage, while some weren’t able to go to their offices.

A driver, who gave his name as Osas, said that the protest had caused him to lose income as he may not be able to achieve his target for the day.

“If I knew this was going to happen, I would ply this route because It has caused me to lose income and I may not be able to reach my target for the day.

“I hope the management of the school will address the students protest so that this situation can be brought to an ended. Many people are also stranded and they will not be able to go to work or their places of business.”

An angry commuter, who refused to disclose his name said, “I’m supposed to be at work right now, but I’ve been stuck here for hours.

“I understand the students’ plight, but they need to find a better way to protest.”

The rainfall did not deter the students has they vowed to stay on until the issue was resolved.

According to Punchng, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Benedicta Ehanire, said a meeting of the Senate was ongoing on how to resolve the issue.


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