*Insists that Electricity & Water Supply is Essential Need on Campus

& Calls for the Immediate Restoration of the SUG

The Campaign for Students’ & Youths’ Rights (CSYR) condemn the action by the Lilian Salami’s led University of Benin management to shut down the university indefinitely and asking students to vacate their hostels, following their exercise of right to protest and demand for better living conditions on campus, with specific reference to electricity and water supply on campus for the convenience of students and staff.

The decision to shut down the university and suddenly chase students out of their hostels within hours notice, even against the standard practice of 24 hours, is both outrageous and a complete violation to students’ rights as bonafide members of the university community.

This disruption of academic activities is unwarranted. Students were completely civil in their agitation and this closure doesn’t in any way resolve even the crises at hand. Whenever the university is reopened, the issue of electricity and water supply as a necessary tool for an effective and functional academic environment will still have to be confronted.

It is in the above context the CSYR calls for the immediate reopening of the university and  the full restoration of the Student Union Government that will adequately make for genuine students’ representation on all their areas of concern.

We cannot help to wonder why Salami is unwilling to spend the cash to address these issues. Is it in any sense connected to the fact that she is on her way out as Vice chancellor? And as such, she is out to conserve the university’s funds to guarantee a larger cart away from the university’s coffers as she approaches the exit door?

It beats one’s imagination to state that the university cannot power stable electricity and water supply —considering the outrageous school, hostel, and even acceptance fees that students numbering 77,000 are forced to pay every session. Student went extra mile to pay these insensitive fees so they don’t lose their studentship or denied the right to write exams? Placing students and parents into a state of psychological crises amidst a crumbling economy.

Electricity is key. Water is key. Students must note, as we have reiterated, that on no account is it their responsibility to fund a Federal University. In a school where these things are lacking, how does the management expect students to effectively study, submit their assignments or prepare for their exams in a world that’s fast becoming digitalised with most reading materials referenced and accessible only online?

The arguments mostly point to a lack of funds to run the university. But, we ask: have any of  these outrageous hike in fees, accumulated each session, translated to any improvement in the working and living conditions of both staffs and students? The same deplorable hostel rooms and lecture halls, with little or no comfort, still exist.

Hence, we commend the independent initiatives of the students for their peaceful demonstration, even amidst a vicious and unrelenting clamp down on student unionism by the management.

However, we must add that the immediate call for the restoration of the student union government is paramount, which as an organ of the student is best vested by all means to serve and defend the general interest of students and articulating their demands.

The insentivity of approving an increase in transport shuttle buses at the period also points to why the SUG need to be installed as opposed to the interim management approved faculty heads, who do not have the electoral approval of students to represent them and rather function as stooges of the university management.

Moreso, the introduction of the deceptive student loan scheme resulted to 100-300% increase in fees across public schools. To add, the crises in Uniben as with other public institutions across the country is a reflection of the underfunding of the education sector by government. Rather than resolve the needs of the people, we find them churn out neo-liberal policies of attack on the working masses. At the same time, government officials both elected and appointed are busy  granting themselves jumbo-salaries, allowances and unending largesse of cash awards with wanton display of living at the expense of the wellbeing of the working masses.

Capitalism is at the root of this crisis in the educational sector and indeed in the whole of the economy and in the end it will demand the organised force of both workers and poor farmers as well as the militancy of working class youths and students to turn things around.

The CYSR insists that Students and Staff must together demand:

1. Reversal of the Decision to Close the University Indefinitely, which further puts the lives of students to danger.

2. immediate Restoration of the Student Union Government

3. Alternative Solutions Temporarily Provided to Ensure Light & Water is Supplied to Students

4. No to Any Form of Intimidation or Victimisation of Any Student by the Management.

5. Protest is a Democratic Right; No Student Should Lose Their Studentship on Account For Protesting

6. End to Student Deceptive Loan Scheme; Education is a Right, Not a Privilege!!!!

7. Reversal of All School Fees across all Campuses

8. Proper Funding of Public Education Sector by the 15-21% Budgetary Allocation as Recommended by UNESCO.

   9.  Immediate Payment of Academic & Non-Academic Workers Salaries

10. Democratic Control of the Economy Under a Workers’ Government.


Comr. Bestman Michael

(Acting Secretary)