• Campus
  • Updated: February 03, 2023

Naira Scarcity: UNIBEN Students, Soldiers Clash Over Cash Withdrawal [Video]

Students of the University of Benin got into a confrontation with soldiers on the school grounds on Thursday over cash withdrawal at one of the bank’s Automated Teller Machines.

Nigerians have been lamenting their inability to get cash as the deadline for the phasing out of the old notes inches closer.

The above has led to long queues at ATMs, with citizens venting their frustrations on one another in the mad rush for withdrawals.

The clash between UNIBEN students and soldiers started when attempts to jump the queue by the latter group was met with stiff resistance by the former who had been waiting patiently for their turn.

An anonymous source who spoke on the clash disclosed that the students were angry as they had been treated in an oppressive manner the previous day.

“On Wednesday they came here and harassed the students.

"They even asked the students who challenged them to lie on the ground.

"But today (Thursday) when they came again and wanted to do the same thing, the student resisted”, the source stated.

During the argument between the students and the soldiers, the Chief Security Officer of the institution who intervened was reportedly assaulted by the soldiers.

The situation escalated at that point and the aggrieved students blocked vehicular movement to and from the school, resulting in gridlock.

Citizens nearby and the Divisional Police Officer of the Ugbowo Division had to step in to appease the students and that was when vehicular movement resumed.

The restored calm was confirmed by the State Deputy Police spokesperson, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, who added that the students demanded a replacement for the phone of their colleague smashed in the confrontation.

Reacting in a statement on Friday, the Vice Chancellor of the School, Prof. Lilian Salami called the development unfortunate.

“The unfortunate incident of the clash between some students of our university and soldiers on Thursday 2nd February,  resulting from alleged resistance of students to the soldiers’ attempt to jump the ATM queue on campus has been brought under control and the management of the University is in discussions with the hierarchy of the S&T for an amicable resolution.

“The management acknowledges that these are challenging times for everyone and enjoins all to remain calm while efforts are being made to avert a re-occurrence.

“Management also calls on the students to constantly engage dialogue in resolving issues that concern them rather than taking to protests, at any provocation, thereby causing more injury and damage to themselves and other citizens,” she said.

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