BY ABDULLAHI ISAH, MAIDUGURI
The Joint Unions of the University of Maiduguri has threatened to down their tools if the Federal Government failed to fence the University, provide security gadgets and deploy more security personnel to checkmate the activities of Boko Haram insurgents on the Campus.
The Unions which consist of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), National Association of Academic Technologies (NAAT) and the Students Union Government (SUG), led by the ASUU chairman Dr. Dani Mamman called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency save the lives and property of over 40,000 members of the University community from Boko Haram threat.
Dr Mamman said “if no immediate action is taken to protect our lives and property, we shall be compelled to call our congresses to consider taking drastic action, which will not augur well for our students and their parents. We wish to categorically state that we will not guarantee the re-opening of University of Maiduguri for the 2017/2018 academic session in October, if the federal government fails to meet our reasonable demands.”
It could be recalled that since the start of the insurgency in 2009, the firsts attack on the university campus took place on the 16th of January 2017 when two suicide bombers attacked the University, which resulted in the death of Professor Aliyu Usman Mani of the department of Veterinary Medicine and two relatives of University staff. A number of staff were also injured and treated.
“The latest incident of suicide bombings which occurred on Sunday 25th June 2017 was the eighth deadly attack within five months. Regrettably, the situation in our University has remained a nightmare to staff and students and calls for urgent attention, as it is obvious that teaching, learning and research cannot be effectively conducted in an atmosphere of fear,” the Unions stated.
The Joint Unions of the University said “to effectively curtail the security challenges on the campus, we implore the Federal Government to give immediate special consideration to the request by the University of Maiduguri management for funds for the procurement of modern security gadgets, fortification and fencing of the perimeter fence of the university, which amounted to N2, 869, 810,429.96.”
Dr. Mamman stated that no amount of money is too much to save the lives of over 40,000 persons in the University community, as the University is one of the most peaceful universities in the country and has never been closed for even one day since the start of the insurgency, adding that the University belongs to the Federal Government and it has to protect its assets.
While commending Governor Kashim Shettima for approving N50 Million for digging of trenches around the boundaries of the University, the unions frowned at the manner the Federal Government has refused to show solidarity and concern with the plight of the University, stressing that since the beginning of the attacks on the University, no federal delegation has visited the university to show solidarity and see how they can address the security challenges.