ASUU Threatens Strike Over Attacks On Lecturers In UNIBEN

UNIBEN’s ASUU chapter postpones academic activities due to rising violence, condemning recent attacks targeting lecturers and management staff

The University of Benin chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has announced its decision not to resume academic activities next Monday due to growing concerns about heightened violence and insecurity on the Ugbowo campus..

UNIBEN, a renowned institution known for its academic excellence, has been grappling with a surge in violent incidents on its Ugbowo campus. These attacks, primarily targeting lecturers and management staff, have raised alarm bells within the university community and beyond. ASUU’s decision to postpone academic activities underscores the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for concrete action.

In a statement issued by UNIBEN’s Chairman, Ray Chikogu, and Secretary, Success Abusomwan, the union condemned what they described as “acts of brigandage” perpetrated by students, individually and under the guise of student unionism. They expressed deep concern over recent incidents of violence targeting lecturers and management staff.

An event involving the purported attempt on Dr. Presley Osemwengie’s life by members of the University of Benin Students Union, who lecture in the Department of Economics, was especially concerning. In April 12, 2024, there was an altercation that led to Dr. Osemwengie being attacked and receiving injuries.

ASUU emphasized that such acts of violence create an unsafe environment for teaching and research activities. The union called on the University of Benin administration to take immediate steps to ensure staff safety and establish a conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning on campus.

The statement warned that failure to address these security concerns promptly could lead to further actions, including a potential strike by the union.

In light of recent events, ASUU’s role extends beyond advocating for the rights of its members; it is also a champion for the fundamental principles of academic freedom and safety. By taking a stand against violence and insecurity, ASUU reaffirms its commitment to creating an environment where knowledge can thrive without fear or intimidation.

It is crucial for all parties involved to engage in constructive dialogue and collaboration to find sustainable solutions to the security challenges facing UNIBEN and other academic institutions. This includes fostering a culture of transparency, accountability, and mutual respect, where the concerns of all stakeholders are heard and addressed.

ASUU’s decision to postpone academic activities at UNIBEN serves as a bold statement against violence and insecurity plaguing the university community. It underscores the urgent need for the university administration to prioritize security measures and create a safe environment for teaching and learning. By standing in solidarity with its members, ASUU reaffirms its commitment to upholding the principles of academic freedom and safety, paving the way for a brighter and more secure future for all.

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