Students of the University of Benin, UNIBEN on Wednesday barricaded the ever-busy Benin-Ore-Sagamu road to protest the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
ASUU declared a warning strike on Monday, after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lagos, after the Federal Government failed to implement the renegotiated 2009 agreement it had with the government.
The students in their numbers were seen at the Ugbowo campus entrance chanting slogans with placards reading ‘Education is our right’ “5 years course has turned to 7 years; “FG settle ASUU” and “Enough is Enough.”
The students expressing their frustration appealed to the federal government to heed to ASUU’s demands
Some students turned the highway into a football field, playing in sets while the students’ leaders were sharing bottles of water, soft drink, pies and doughnuts to the demonstrators for refreshment.
The protest has caused a gridlock on the highway for hours, forcing many motorists to avoid the route while those going into the Edo capital had to divert their ways.
Leading the protest, the President of the Students Union Government (SUG) in the institution, Foster Amadin, lamented that the students are on the streets because they are tired of perennial strikes by ASUU.
“We came to the street to say we are tired. We hereby express our grievances to the federal government, to the state government and whoever cares to listen. We say we are tired.
“We want to graduate. For a programme that is supposed to run for four years, we are spending five years and even more. We don’t want it anymore.”
Amadin said all they want is to return to classes and graduate from the institution.
“Let the federal government see to the demands of ASUU and let ASUU also consider the federal government’s position.
“All we want is to go back to our classes. I want to graduate, I want to leave the school. I am tired and that is our grievance,” he said.