Angry students of the University of Benin, UNIBEN, yesterday ignored the order of the University Senate closing down the school, as they continued their two-day old protest over the hike in their school fee.
Though the university, earlier on Wednesday announced the “immediate” closure of the institution, “temporarily”, claiming insecurity and the possible hijack of the protest, the students remained adamant.
Rather than complying with the directive that they should immediately vacate the campus, the students marched to the official lodge of the vice chancellor, Prof Lillian Imuetinyan Salami, and practically “kidnapped” her.
Having seized the professor of food and nutrition, the students forced her on a tortuous journey from her official residence to the university’s main gate on the Benin-Lagos Road, on foot.
The protesting students made several video recordings of the vice chancellor, trekking the long distance.
When the train got to the Faculty of Engineering, the visibly exhausted VC pleaded that she should be allowed to complete the journey in a vehicle.
It was gathered that while a Toyota Hilux was provided for the remaining trip, the students, deflated two of its four tyres.
Besides, Professor Salami was not accorded the luxury of riding in the demobilised vehicle alone, as some of the students jumped into the vehicle “to ensure that she did not escape,” a source said.
As at 3.30 pm, commuters on that axis of the road had to detour to the inner roads by the Precious Palm Royal Hotel to connect Uselu area.
The students, it would be recalled, had on Tuesday, blocked the two campuses on Ekenwan Road and Ugbowo in protest against the hike in the tuition fee by N20, 000.
Trouble started when the university closed the students’ registration portal, three weeks after resumption and surcharged those who could not register, while the portal was opened with a late registration fee of N20,000.