From Gyang Bere, Jos
The University of Jos (UNIJOS) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said the institution lost three students during the fresh violent attack that rocked Angwan Rukuba road in Jos North Local Government Area of the state.
Its Chairman, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, said the violence which spreads to some parts of Jos, also inflicted injuries on two students and called for maximum protection of the institution.
Dr. Maigoro, in a press statement on Sunday in Jos, lamented that students and staff of the institution were always attacked and killed by members of the university community even during crisis that did not concerned them.
The chairman, who described the recent attacks on students as “sad and unfortunate” wondered why the institution, which is a citadel of learning, had remained a major target for criminals during every unrest in Jos.
“We have suffered untold damages in relation to loss of lives and property, in addition to the regular suspension of academic activities each time there is security breach in Jos and as a union, we have tried to understand how the university community is always at the receiving end of each crisis in Jos.
“In spite all the provocations, we have continued to offer community service to all, irrespective of religion, culture and tribe; the university administration has over the years made overtures to host communities in terms of undergraduate admissions and staff employment, yet our students and staff are killed at the slightest provocation, however far the epicentre of the crisis from the institution.
“The university is a citadel of learning which houses various category of people regardless of ethnic and religious affiliations, as such, should be spared anytime there is breach of security in other parts of Jos.”
He also expressed worry that the suspension of academic activities and closure of the school would pose a serious setback to the students’ academic sojourn.
The Acting Vice Chancellor of university, Prof. Gray Ejikeme, had confirmed the killing of a student adding that investigations were ongoing to ascertain the real state of things.
Ejikeme promised to make available detailed information on the number of students killed and those injured during the recent attacks.
Meanwhile, Abia Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has dispatched a team led by his Special Assistant on Students Affairs, Mr Chibuzo Ndom, to the University of Jos, Plateau State, to evacuate students of Abia origin who are currently stranded as a result of the recent violence and subsequent closure of the institution.
A statement by John Okiyi Kalu, commissioner for information, yesterday, said the contingent from Abia which includes security personnel are expected to ensure the safe return of the over 200 students of Abia origin back to the state capital, Umuahia, where thet would be received by the governor.
• NLC seeks security beef-up
To stem the spate of attacks, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Federal and Plateau governments to beef up security around UniJos and other flashpoints in the state.
The state council of the union in a statement jointly signed by its chairman, Eugene Manji and the acting secretary, Badung Dalyop, said many students and staff of the institution had come under series of attack with many reportedly killed.
The NLC noted with grave concern the constant targeting and attack of students and staff of the university by miscreants whenever there is breach of public peace in some parts of the state.
“The sad and unwarranted situation has led to the abrupt suspension of second semester examinations and all academic programmes indefinitely by the University’s management to save lives.
“NLC also condemns in strong terms the recent attack of seven (7) staff of Plateau Radio Television Corporation (PRTVC) in Dadin Kowa area, one of the flashpoints after closing from duty.
“NLC, however, calls on the Federal and Plateau governments to as a matter of urgency, bring to an end the series of killings within the various communities in Plateau.
“Labour calls on government to establish a permanent security outfit close to the University to secure the community.
“Security agencies should beef up security around University of Jos and focus attention on all flashpoints in the state as well as develop more proactive measures to promptly tackle the challenges.”