The students protest that forced management to close down the Benue State University, Makurdi was masterminded by students with carry-overs, according to its Vice Chancellor, Prof. Msugh Kembe.
“The protest that took place today (Friday) was masterminded by students with many carry-overs, who are not sure they will graduate and want to frustrate the whole system,” Kembe told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Makurdi.
NAN reports that the students had locked all entries into the school and barred the management and lecturers from entering the campus because they were stopped from writing their examinations for failing to pay school fees.
Some students, who spoke with NAN on condition of anonymity, claimed that they could not pay school fees because their parents working with the state government had not been paid salaries for several months.
But Kembe, who described the students’ attitude as “strange”, said that those involved in the protest did so out of fear.
He said: “They (students) had no reason to embark on the protest. It is some of them that are behind in their academic performance that staged the protest so as to prolong their stay in the school, and not because of school fees.
“Citing school fees is not tenable because management explored all available avenues to enable those yet to pay their fees, to write the examination.
“We issued forms for such students to sign undertakings to pay their fees after their examinations, but majority of the students rejected the undertaking.
“Some of them claimed that their parents were civil servants, so we asked them to present post-dated cheques, but the students rejected the idea.”
The Vice Chancellor said that out of 25,000 students, only 17,000 registered, while 8,000 were yet to register or pay their fees.
According to him, those that refused to register were afraid that they might not pass the examinations and decided not to waste their money.
He advised parents to pick up their children from the school as it had been closed down until further notice.
Kembe said: “The closure is a proactive measure to avoid destruction to school property.”
Kembe said that the second semester examination that commenced on Monday had been put off.
Efforts to speak with David Tyolumun, President of the BSU chapter of the Students Union Government, were not successful, but an official of the union told NAN that the students were protesting against injustice.
The official said: “We are not being treated fairly and want the whole world to know our plight.”