Hundreds of protesters are expected to converge on Thursday, June 4 (today), in Benin City to show solidarity, in response to the alleged rape and murder of Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a first-year Microbiology student of the University of Benin.
The solidarity march is being organised by the UNIBEN Students’ Union Government (SUG), in collaboration with the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) led by the National President, Danielson Bamidele Akpan.
Other bodies joining in solidarity include, the UNIBEN Comrades Community (UCC), National Association of Edo State Students (NAESS), National Union of Benin Students (NUBS), Nigerian Students and Youth Association (NISAYA), National Association of University Students (NAUS), among others.
A statement issued late Wednesday by the UNIBEN SUG, called on all students, SUG senators, NANS comrades, University comrades, and other concerned individuals “that wants justice for late Miss Vera Uwaila (sic)”, to join in the “peaceful demonstration” demanding justice for the deceased.
“We want to urge everyone, that it’s important we come out in our numbers. This is because we will be pushing for Justice for the deceased, and also that such a heinous crime like this should not repeat itself in the Institution, State, Nation and Globally,” the statement issued through the Union spokesman, Destiny Uanzekin, added.
According to the Union spokesman, those expected in the solidarity march are to converge at the University maingate, Ugbowo campus, at 7am. They are also expected to be in black, signifying mourning. The protest will also call for an end to gender-based violence; rape and murder.
On security concerns, amid the growing security challenges in Edo, the Union said the Department of State Security Service (DSS), and the Edo State Police Command had assured the protesters of “adequate security coverage.”
“It’s pertinent to state, that there is no cause for alarm for tomorrow’s solidarity march. This is because the Commissioner of Police, has also assured us of security personnels (sic) that will be on ground. Security is beefed up since we will be having the DSS and the Police.”
The statement, while assuring of free transportation, otherwise known as mobility for students in Ekehuan campus, advised all those joining in the solidarity march to come with their nose masks as Coronavirus measures.
“In addition, we want to urge everyone to please come with their nose masks. And also the Golden Age Executives will station Buses at Ekehuan Campus by 6:30am to convey students to the venue.”
Meanwhile, some officials of the UNIBEN SUG, in company of NANS president were, on Wednesday, at the home of the late student to condole with the bereaved family, over the death of their daughter, Miss Uwa.
“The NANS President in his bid to consolidating the efforts of the Union, visited the family of Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa and on our visit, a token was given to the family to show our solidarity support.”
The newly redeployed Commissioner of Police in Edo, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo was said to have also paid a visit to the bereaved family as “his first assignment”, upon resumption of office, assuring of justice for Uwa.
“In doing this, the CP requested the leadership of the Students’ Union Government, in company of the NANS President and his entourage. On the visit to the family, the CP sympathized with the family and assured them that Justice must be served in this case soonest.”
Earlier, the SUG led by its President, Egwu Benjamin Lotana and Senate President, Benjamin Oyemwense; in company of NANS President were at DSS Benin zonal office, where security coverage assurance was secured for the planned march.