The authorities of Benue State University on Monday shut the institution and asked students to vacate the campus latest 4:00 p.m.

In a statement issued by the Registrar of the University, Dr Mfaga Modom, the university said that the closure was necessary to avoid breakdown of law and order in and around the campus.

The closure followed the protest embarked on by the students against the five Point Grading System.

The students as early as 6.00 a.m. blocked the two gates of the university located along the busy Makurdi/Gboko Highway.

The students were seen singing and calling on the university management to reverse the policy on grading system to the old practice of calculating Cumulative Grade Point Average.

To avoid breakdown of facilities on the campus, armed security personnel, comprising Police, Civil Defence and DSS were drafted to the campus.

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A 300-level student in the Department of Political Sciences, Peter Agbo, said the University management began the implementation of the new grades without notifying the students.

He alleged that the school wanted to implement the policy mainly to victimize some students whom they think are brilliant but are not in the good books of some lecturers, revealing that already 150 of such students had been pencilled down to recalculate their point grade based on the new arrangement.

“To me, this is not too good for some students particularly those in 400 level who are about to graduate”, he said.

But in a separate statement, the Registrar of the University, Dr Mfaga Modom said, the management of the University was aware of the grievances of the students especially as it relates to the Five (5) Point Grading System.

She said that the University Senate had constituted a Committee to consider the appeal by the students for the recalculation of their previous results from Four (4) Point Grading System to Five (5) Point Grading System and submit its recommendations.

She stated that the committee requested and received memoranda from the university community including the students; met several times and its report is to be considered at the forthcoming meeting of Senate scheduled for Thursday, 5th September 2019 before students started to protest.

Mrs Modom maintained that the students must acknowledge the fact that the University had already complied with the directive by the National Universities Commission by reverting to the 5-Point Grading System with effect from the 2018/2019 academic session.

“In the interim, the University Management met the students and informed them of the efforts of the Senate and appealed for their patience to enable the committee to complete the assignment.

“Management also, through the Dean of Students issued a circular informing the students of its efforts.

“The closure of the University gates by students on account of this issue is therefore unwarranted. Management wishes to reiterate that it can only consider their appeal when the report of the Senate Committee is received.

“Management, therefore, appeals to students to be law-abiding and respect constituted authority, policies and properties of the University and allow due process to prevail”, the statement read in part.

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