A group under the umbrella of Plateau, Our Heritage (POH) has rasied serious concerned over safety of staff and students of the University of Jos, following the gruesome murder of its senior lecturer, Dr. Nandi Drenkat and kidnapping of his six-year-old daughter, Joanna Drenkat by kidnappers at the University’s Senior Staff Quarters, Bauchi Road, Jos, Plateau State.
The group expressed gratitude to the Nigeria Police and vigilance group in Plateau for recovering the abducted girl unhurt, and called on the Federal Government to take adequate measures to secure the unstitution from kidnappers, land grabbers and miscreants.
The group in an online meeting moderated by the convener, Hon. Ayuba Pam Dangwong noted that it was consulting widely with other Plateau indigenes to take a legal action against those grabbing the the University’s land.
A member, Ezekiel Foron in his submission observed that the siege on the university of Jos was far more serious than the people’s emotional commentaries.
He said: “It’s unfortunate that we are waking up to this reality, rather late in the day, when successive vice chancellors have been indegines. It brings to question the quality of our vision in this regard, as it were.
“Unless, we can draw a tenable holistic marshal plan to arrest this increasing siege, we may as well consider the relocation of this institution, to a safer area, in our own interests”, he emphasized.
Mr. James Magit said the Federal Government who is the owner of the university cannot pretend not to be aware of the daunting security challenges bedeviling the Institution.
“I think a combination of the university leadership, the state government and committed groups/Individuals cannot fail, except if there is conspiracy beyond genuine litigation,” he stated.
Another member of the group, Evans Binan, stressed that the university has been in the present location for long, and “its our heritage and if we value it sincerely then we should be able to go neck deep to ensure that we neutralize the toxicity around the university and its environs.”
However, Esther Choji was of the opinion that since the environment was no longer save for both the staff and students, the university and the state government should start thinking of relocating the school to a safer environment.
Prof. Christy Best agreed that the siege on the university was very serious; she added that “our emotional expressions are all a part of it. Thank God this forum is making it possible not only for us to lament and weep but most importantly to take action”, while focusing on possibilities that would ensure they lead to better outcomes.
Also contributing, is Mr. Yakubu Taddy, who noted that though the University of Jos is a federal institution, it was established by one of Plateau’s illustrious sons, the late Police Commissioner, Joseph Gomwalk in the early 70s.
As such, the “Unijos is therefore our heritage as it may revert back to us in future given agitations for true federalism” as lamentations by POH on happenings in the university will only amount to “mere posturing” even as he disagreed that relocating the institution was an open surrender.
For Helen Dabup, the university management could build a police structure close to the institution and hand it over to the police , as the “security system in the university staff quarters doesn’t seem to be well fortified enough to make it difficult for strangers to come in to commit such heinous crime.”
Chairman of Plateau, Our Heritage (POH, Hon. Alex Kwapnoe reiterated that “I assure you we are putting books together to bolster confidence on what we are doing after which we shall fire on full steam. the support and encouragement of our members would certainly be needed as i see the desire, enthusiasm and alacrity is clearly on the prowl here.”