Authorities of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma on Monday announced the indefinite closure of the institution following a protest by the students of the school over increased in tuition fees.
According to BusinessDay, two students were however in critical condition at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital following injuries sustained in a gunshot allegedly fired by Edo State security operatives.
The students were alleged to have been hit by stray bullets in a gunshot fired by the security operatives. The injured students who were said to be in a critical condition are currently receiving treatment at the specialist hospital.
The Students of the institution had October 28, 2016, in hundreds protested against hike in tuition fees by the management of the university by 400%.
The protesting students who were mainly 200- level alleged that the school management increased tuition fees from N47, 000 to N165, 000 representing over 400%.
They complained that the school fees was increased to between N160,000 and N165,000 in the 2015 academic session by the management saying that they were told that as they progress in their academic studies the fees would be slashed.
The students were said to have blocked the main gate of the school as well as the ever busy Benin-Auchi road to register their displeasure over the increment in the tuition fees.
It was alleged that truck carrying bags of rice was reportedly set ablaze after the goods were looted by the protesting students.
Following the violent protest, the school management, however, announced the immediate closure.
A press statement signed by Edward Aihevbe, Deputy Registrar, Information/Public Relations Officer of the institution said the decision to close the institution indefinitely was reached after the University’ Senate meeting that reviewed the students’ protest.
Mr. Edward said the school management viewed the protest as uncalled, unnecessary and unwarranted as the students barricaded the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi highway.
However, Mr. Edward denied social media report that 2 students were shot by security operatives.
He said the students were given until 4pm to vacate the hostels and the institution.
“No student was shot. They barricaded the highway and soldiers escorting an Army vehicle that was passing the road had to shoot into the air to scare the students away.
“For sometimes now the information reaching the school indicates allege increase of school fees by Ambrose Alli University and the management has done everything possible to debunk the rumour.
“Again, the management affirms that there is no increase in the school fees and flowing from the above all the academic activities of the university should be suspended indefinitely with immediate effect.
“The students should vacate the hostels and the school before 4pm today (14-11- 2016)” he said.