CURSORY: The management of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) has temporarily shut down the school due to death of a final year student that resulted in a protest.
The management of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) said it has shut down the university with immediate effect, following a student protest on Monday over the killing of a final-year student by suspected gang of phone robbers.
This was contained in a press statement signed and released on Monday by Hajia Fatima Abdullahi, the Deputy Registrar of the institution.
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The statement said that the Vice Chancellor had approved the closure of the university for an initial period of one week, with effect from Monday, December 4, to Sunday, December 10, 2023.
The statement reads “I am directed to request all undergraduate students on both campuses to vacate the university premises with immediate effect, as failure to comply may lead to appropriate sanctions by the constituted authority”.
It further directed the Dean of the Student Affairs Division, and the Chief Security Officer to ensure strict compliance with the directive.
Also reacting, the Director, Information and Public Relations, Zailani Bappa, said the university was closed to avert the situation from getting worse, saying that the Students Union Government (SUG) dissociated itself from the protest.
“The management always invites the SUG on every occasion to speak with them, but on this occasion, when the students started demonstrating, and the student union government was contacted by the management, they dissociated themselves from what their colleagues were doing.
According to Zailani Bappa, “They have lost (their) senses, I think, because even the management could not stop them from holding the protest, not to talk of the student union government. I am sure that the police used tear gas to disperse the crowd to avoid a breakdown of the law. It is better for somebody to be tear-gassed than to allow him to injure or kill somebody.”
Students were protesting the horrific death of their 500-level colleague, Joseph Obiaje Agabaidu, of Geology department, at the university’s Yelwa campus. He was stabbed to death by robbers who were apparently armed and attempted to take his phone.
The demonstrating students told Vanguard that they were protesting the government’s and the school administration’s alleged failure to provide sufficient security for off-campus students.
Agabaidu, who is from Ankpa Local Government Area, Kogi State and believed to be the oldest of four children in his family, was returning to his lodge in Yelwan Tudu on that fateful Saturday before he was brutally murdered.
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