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UNIBEN: Students Demand Termination Of SUG Over Gross Ineffectiveness

Joel Osaigbovo Aluge, Reporting, Benin City

Students of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) have jointly demanded the termination of the Student Union Government (SUG) citing what they perceive as gross ineffectiveness in advocating for student rights. Consequently, the students have called for an end to the SUG’s reign.

According to a memo released by the collective student body, they expressed deep disappointment in the SUG’s inability to adequately represent their interests.

The students pointed out that despite being aware of their rights, the SUG had failed to take decisive actions to address issues affecting them.

Specifically, they highlighted instances such as the lack of significant action when the school management increased both tuition during Comrade Israel Nmoye’s administration.

“We have noticed that the management of the university “NOW” has the right and power to impose and increase fees on the students and the SUG will be silent about the increment.

“Consequently, we the 77,001 students of the University of Benin believe that we can govern ourselves without the SUG and we request for no SUG elections in the university to elect new executives.

Thank you UNIBEN Management for looking into this humble request,” the Student Memorandum stated.

The discontent among students reached its peak when the recent hike in hostel fees was met with little resistance from the SUG. Despite the union’s initial stance against the fee increment, their subsequent negotiations with the school management yielded no tangible results.

This failure to secure any meaningful concessions led to disappointment amongst the students.

The exorbitant fee hike extended across all halls of residence within the university. Affordable accommodations witnessed drastic increases, with fees skyrocketing from N17,000 to N28,000, while other hostels saw even steeper hikes. The NDDC Hostel, for instance, surged to N52,000, and Hall 6 spiked to N64,000, leaving students struggling with financial strain.

Expressing their concerns, students lamented the burden placed upon those from modest backgrounds, who now find it increasingly challenging to afford decent accommodation on campus.

Deborah Omuwa, a 200-level Physiology student, voiced her dismay, labeling the hike in fees as unjustifiable.

Meanwhile, Victoria Okoh, a 300-level Mass Communication student, emphasized the strain on students and parents, particularly following the recent tuition fee increment.

“The new hostel fee increase is too much, especially after the recent increment in tuition fees. It is unfair to students and parents. If it is for maintenance, where is the evidence? The SUG needs to act quickly on our behalf,” she stated.

Consequently, the student body declared their autonomy from the SUG, stating their capability to govern themselves without the need for union representation.

With demands for the termination of the SUG, students have called for a halt to any forthcoming SUG elections until their grievances are addressed.

Efforts to resolve the impasse through dialogue between the SUG and the school management proved fruitless. Despite the union’s attempts to engage constructively the exorbitant fees remained unchanged, further causing students to lose confidence in the SUG’s ability to effect meaningful change.



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