BY ABDULLAHI ISAH, MAIDUGURI
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has assured that there is no plan to close University of Maiduguri, as its closure will mean succumbing to Boko Haram insurgents.
The minister disclosed this when he paid paid a condolence visit to the University of Maiduguri over the demise of the staff of the University alongside staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) while on oil exploration mission to Northern Borno. They were attacked by Boko Haram insurgents along Magumeri-Gubio road.
Mallam Adamu said “when I was coming, I was considering the closure of the University because of the safety of the staff, students and members of the University community but after listening to the Vice Chancelor, I felt ashamed and had a rethink, as closing the school will amount to succumbing to the insurgents?
“I wrote for a special intervention from the Federal Government so that we will start fencing the university to secure it, I am assuring you of the 100 percent support of the Federal Government. We are going to fence the whole University, though I heard that the Governor has started fencing the University”, he added.
He sincerely apologized for not being able to come to the University on time, stressing that on behalf of the Federal Government and Ministry of Education he commiserates with the senate, staff and the members of the University over the attack on their staff.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Professor Ibrahim Njodi said in spite of the incessant attacks on the University by suicide bombers they refused to close the University because they don’t want to succumb to the Boko Haram insurgents.
“We refused to close the University because we don’t want to succumb to the insurgents. We first thought of closing the University in 2010 but due to the fact that most of the students of the University are from the North-east where most of them are already displaced and considering that the University is a placed of abode, that was why NEMA considered the campus, as the 23rd camp in the state”, the VC explained.
On the attack on the University staff, the VC said “the University has been a consultant to the NNPC for over 10 years, but it was suspended due to the security situation, but in 2016, the NNPC asked us to go back to site. We were reluctant but they assured us of adequate security. However due to national interest and national economy, we didn’t want to refuse and along the line this happened”.
He said that in all 9 staff of the University were involved, 4 lecturers, 3 technicians and 2 drivers, stressing that 5 corpses of the staff were brought home, 2 lecturers, 2 technicians and a driver.
Professor Njodi stated that the university has witnessed over 8 suicide attacks by Boko Haram insurgents, adding that in the first attack in a mosque at the university they lost a Professor and two students who were wards of University staff.