The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, has offered a reinstatement deal to the five students of the university who were suspended for leading students union protests.
The students have however rejected the deal which asked them to tender an apology to the school management in order to be recalled.
One of the suspended students, Ogbidi Osamudiamen, who was the Student Union President before his suspension said they rejected the recall offer because they were not guilty of what the management accused them of.
Pulse quoted him as saying: ”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, Benjamin Majekodunmi said: ”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”.
The school authorities have come under severe pressure to recall the student activists.