Wednesday 4 March 2020

Freed UNIBEN students, lecturers on their way home - VC

The students and lecturers of Geology Department, University of Benin, who were earlier abducted by suspected Fulani Herdsmen, have all been rescued alive and will soon be back home. 

This was disclosed by the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami, in a chat with CAMPUS GIST on Wednesday, March 4.

She said the Head of the Department of Geology, had been directed to put a halt to the ongoing field trip, and allow the lecturers and students head back to Benin.

Rumours were rife on Wednesday that the HOD was insisting that the lecturers and students continue with the exercise despite yesterday's incident.

But reacting to the development, the Vice Chancellor said an arrangement had been made for the safe return of the lecturers and students to the university community.

“He (the HOD) has been instructed to return the students under Auchi police escort,” she said.

On her part, the university’s Public Relations Officer, Dr. Benedicta Ehanire, while thanking the Vice Chancellor for the role she played leading to the release of the victims, called for calm among students.

“We thank God, the VC and the police for swift action,” she said, adding, “I have been speaking with the HOD. They are safe...”.

CAMPUS GIST reports that about 4 lecturers and 13 students of the University of Benin were abducted at about on Tuesday, while on a field trip to Igarra near Auchi in Edo State.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the University of Benin has suspended all field trips and excursions outside Benin City, with immediate effect.

The development comes barely 24 hours after some students and lecturers of the institution were abducted by suspected Fulani Herdsmen in Igarra, near Auchi, Edo State.

A statement issued by the public relations officer, Dr. Benedicta Ehanire, PhD, said special security arrangements would be made for inevitable field trips and excursions.

“In view of the current security situation in the country and recent experience of some students of the University, Management of the University of Benin has advised that further field-trips/excursions outside Benin City be suspended forthwith.

“However, if such field-trips/excursions become inevitable, appropriate security arrangements should be made including engagement of security escorts. Stay safe,” the statement read.

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