The five students of the University of Benin who were suspended and asked to apologize to be recalled have said they rejected the Vice Chancellor’s offer because they did not commit any offence to apologise for.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, had reportedly asked thestudents to tender an apology letter to the school management before they can be recalled but the students refused to apologize.
Speaking to Pulse about their suspension, one of the suspended students, Ogbidi Osamudiamen, who was the Student Union President before his suspension said they rejected the management conditional offer to recall them because they were not guilty of what the management accused them of.
He said, ”The whole story is centred around what can be termed out stubbornness for not agreeing with the management on the increment in the tuition fee in the university. And the only way they thought they could punish us is to rusticate the five of us, the SUG members who are trying to defend other students.
”So they rusticated us and since they made the decision, there has been clamour that we should be reinstated, it was at this point that the management said that before they reinstate us we have to apologise and we told them that we cannot apologize, because if we apologise it means we have done something wrong and by implication it means we are guilty of whatever they accuse us of'”.
Another suspended student activist, Benjamin Majekodunmi said the management was trying to push them to a dangerous corner by demanding for an apology.
”An apology is an admittance of guilt and an expression of remorse. How can we apologise for exercising our constitutional rights to peaceful protest against the management unfavourable and anti-masses’ policy? By demanding an apology, the management is only finding a way to punch us into a very dangerous corner”.
Following the suspension of the students, there have been calls from Nigerians for the reinstatement of the five students.
The National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS) has kicked against the suspension of the five students.
The students association led by its president, Comrade Aruna Kadiri, on Wednesday protested at the University of Benin to demand the unconditional reinstatement of the five students.
Also, a socio-cultural organization in Benin, the Edo Forum of Patriots, has appealed to the management of the University of Benin to recall the students saying the management’s action could destroy the future of the students.