Soldiers raided the main entrance of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Ugbowo on Thursday and Friday, unleashing chaos on anybody in sight and destroying nearly every vehicle parked in the vicinity.
Punch said that as a result of the incident, at least six people got injuries of varying severity and over twenty automobiles were wrecked.
The students had congregated on the Benin – Lagos Route to protest the occurrence by blocking the highway, but the police dispersed them.
The invasion of the university occurred as a result of an incident that allegedly occurred earlier in the day, in which some students had a confrontation with troops who allegedly cut the line while waiting to withdraw money from an ATM on campus.
It was said that the troops assaulted a female student whom they accused of filming the incident, as well as two security professionals who attempted to bring the situation under control. In response, the students attacked one of the soldiers, as shown in a viral video.
The administration of the institution called for calm and assured that the situation was being resolved, however it was reported that soldiers had scaled the University’s perimeter fence and damaged the CCTV at the security post. Among the destroyed cars were a security van and a fire truck.
Gloria, one of the victims, stated, “I sent my sister to the ATM, and she subsequently contacted me to tell me that there was violence on campus involving military, but I could not reach her again since her phone line had stopped working.” So, in a hurry, I entered the campus via Ekosodin, and by the time we were done, the gates were locked, there was a mob, and we were searching for a taxi to return home. Shortly after I asked a security guard how we could leave the university through the back gate, troops armed with cutlasses, jackknives, and other implements entered the compound and began assaulting everyone they encountered. Because we were running for our lives, all of the money we withdrew from the ATM and our cell phones were confiscated. Some of them wore hoods and some were women.”
Captain Yemi Sokoya, the Public Relations Officer for the 4th Brigade of the Nigerian Army, disputed the attack by soldiers when contacted, stating, “It is not real.” Thank you”
Professor Lilian Salami, Vice Chancellor of the University, issued the following statement: “The unfortunate incident of the clash between some students of our university and soldiers on Thursday, February 2nd, resulting from the alleged resistance of students to the soldiers’ attempt to jump ATM queues on campus has been brought under control, and the Management of the University is in discussions with the hierarchy of the S & T for a negotiated resolution.
“The Management recognizes that these are difficult times for everyone and requests that everyone remain calm while steps are done to prevent a recurrence. Management also urges students to engage in continual conversation to resolve issues that affect them, rather than resorting to protests at the slightest provocation and causing further harm to themselves and other citizens.