CITIZENS COMPASS– THERE was pandemonium in Benin City area of Edo State as students of University of Benin (UNIBEN) and some soldiers clashed.
According to some social media reports, the incident occurred on Thursday, February 2, 2023 a some of the students took to social media to share shocking videos and pictures of Soldiers beating students and vandalising properties in the school premises.
There were, however, variations in eyewitness accounts of what transpired between the students and the soldiers.
An account said the crisis erupted when the students resisted attempts by the soldiers to jump the queue for the use of the ATM leading to fisticuffs between them while another said a large group of students descended on the soldiers when the military men upbraided some students for wearing camouflage.
An account said crisis occurred on Thursday evening, when some soldiers tried to jump the queue at an ATM point withing the school campus.
Unconfirmed reports claimed the soldiers arrived at the ATM point and tried to jump the queue.
Eye witnesses’ account said a female student was beaten up in the process, a situation which was rebuffed by the students.
The soldiers were said to have angrily extended the beating and intimidation to another student who they thought was filming them as they tried to intimidate the students and use the ATM without joining the queue.
The students were said to have resisted the alleged harassment by engaging the soldiers in a free for all thereby forcing them out of their school premises.
Normalcy was later returned to the school premises.
It was learnt that the soldiers reinforced and returned in the night to beat up students, shave their hair and vandalized properties worth million of naira..
Many Twitter users have since condemned the soldiers’ action.
A Twitter user, @Renegadevandy49 in one of his post said, “Omo. Everybody is triggered this period, watch how you misbehave o.
Another Twitter user, @Freedaaa posted, “Any military man watching this thing, na this part go pain them. They’ll look for that guy.
@Aro Obidatti posted, “Na una go dey hype soldiers to do what they don’t suppose to do, if not because of bad system, how can a soldier go to public place and start intimidating civilians with army uniform, he has no respect for the uniform first, for God sake, he isn’t in on official duty.
“Nortch George : Wahala loading for the rugged looking boys of this institution. Army problem no be beans o.
@ill_nojie said, “Soldiers slap a whole uniben CSO because they intervened on the beating of an innocent student. They had it coming.
The Barack has since apologised to the school authorities. So make una rest .
@RoscoeDinerro posted, “Baba soldier collect mending the one wey pain me pass na that tackle from behind wey dem use off him leg from ground.
VC sues for calm
Meanwhile, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami has called on the students to always embrace dialogue in resolving issues rather than taking to protests at the slightest provocation.
Prof. Salami described the incident as unfortunate.
“The unfortunate incident of the clash between some students and soldiers on Thursday, Feb. 2, resulting from alleged resistance of students to the soldiers’ attempt to jump ATM queues on campus has been brought under control.
“Management of the university is in discussions with the hierarchy of the army in Benin (the Supply and Transport) for amicable resolution.
“Management acknowledges that these are challenging times for everyone and enjoins all to remain calm while efforts are being made to avert a recurrence.
“Management also calls on the students to constantly embrace dialogue in resolving issues that concern them rather than taking to protests, at any provocation.
“Such protests cause more injury and damage for the students and for other citizens,” Prof. Salami stated