The authorities of the Benue State University (BSU) have cleared the air on the recent suspension of certain categories of the university’s Medical Students.

A statement signed by university’s Principal Assistant Registrar (Information & Public Relations), T. Tser Vanger, and made available to Education Monitor said the suspension became the only option to avert impending breach of peace on the campus after all entreaties to the students to back down on their planned protest as their grievances were being addressed failed.

According to the statement, following hints of moves by students of the University’s College of Health Sciences to disrupt their academic activities over sundry grievances, and the unyielding attitudes of the students on the matter after several meetings, the 200-600 level students were directed to proceed on a one month suspension on the 20th October, 2023.

“Upon learning about the concerns of the students, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tor Joe Iorapuu delegated the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Mike Odey, and other management staff to invite them for dialogue. The dialogue held and the only grievance of the students, which was the relocation of 200L medical students to Block C was appropriately handled.
The report was to be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor on October 25, the same day the students decided to embark on the demonstration after all assurances they had given during the last meeting of October 24.

“Notwithstanding the intervention of the Vice-Chancellor, and formal submission of report to him, the students, on 25th October, regrouped and commenced a protest at dawn when they converged at the College of Health Sciences main entrance gate and defied all entreaties, including that of the Vice-Chancellor, to return to their lecture halls and give Management two hours to deliberate on their complaints.

“Remaining defiant, the students marched to Government house where they were addressed by the Commissioner for Health, Commissioner of Information, and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, who asked them to list their problems and choose some representatives to be led in to speak with the Governor but they refused, insisting that all of them must go in.

“It was at this point that the Governor’s aides and the others left the students at the Government House Roundabout where the Vice-Chancellor who had also met them, advised them to return to the campus.

“Not discouraged by the attitude of the students, the Vice-Chancellor directed another high delegation of Management including the DVC, Academic to meet with the students where all issues raised were exhaustively discussed and resolutions drafted, adopted and endorsed by the Students Union President who is a Medical student and that of the Benue State University Medical Students Association(BESUMSA).

“Surprisingly, the students reneged on the resolutions they endorsed themselves and resolved to boycott lectures.

“Not minding the recalcitrant and adamant attitude of the students, the Vice-Chancellor convened another meeting involving all Academic Staff of the College of Health Sciences and Management of the University during which all Academic Staff of the College deplored the conduct of the students, saying it was unbecoming of students who were being trained to preside over human lives.

“In spite of the wide condemnation of the students by their lecturers, they continued holding clandestine meetings planning to stage a bigger protest and possibly cause destruction. Security reports indicated that the students had made contact with external associates to prosecute the next phase of the protest.

“Consequent upon this and the reports emanating from the Security Unit, Students Affairs and Academic Staff of the College of Health Sciences, the Management Committee of the University was left with no option but to suspend 200-600 level students of the College of Health Sciences for one month,” the statement narrated.

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