The University of Jos (UNIJOS) in Plateau State is said to be under siege due to continued killing, maiming of students and members of staff as well as the destruction of property worth millions of naira by hostile communities whenever there is crisis in Jos in the past 17 years.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, University of Jos chapter chairman in the university, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, who expressed the concern at a media briefing Thursday, called for the immediate reclamation of university land illegally occupied by communities which carry out the attacks.
ASUU also demanded the strengthening of internal security apparatus within the institution and called on the federal government to provide special intervention fund for the construction of more hostels and staff quarters and erection of parameter fencing of the institution’s land mass.
He urged the federal government to show concern about the lives and property of the staff and students and release the take off grant of the university to enable it develop the needed infrastructure.
Maigoro pointed out that hoodlums from immediate communities of Angwan Rogo, Bauchi Road, Angwan Rimi, Kwanan Shagari, Fanfare and Angwan Rukuba at the slightest security breach, unleash mayhem on students, staff and property, stressing that the school environment was not safe for academic activities.
He said: “The University of Jos has not known lasting peace since the first major crisis erupted on September 7, 2001 in Plateau State.
”That particular crisis and subsequent ones have continued to claim the lives and property of staff and students of the university, up to the recent one during which the university lost two students and one member of staff. One student is still missing and one in the hospital nursing a bullet wound.
“On September 14, 2017, Dr. Nandi Gwanshak was attacked at the gate of Naraguta campus by hoodlums from Angwan Rogo, her vehicle battered and she barely escaped.
”At the same spot on that day, Professors Timothy Oyetunde and Emma-Emma were attacked and injured, their vehicle burnt to ashes. On the same day, a 400L Law student while going home from school, was attacked and killed at Zololo junction.
“On September 28, 2018, the Village hostel of students of the university came under attack by hoodlums from Angwan Rogo community, the students tried to defend themselves in the absence of security men and in the process, one student was shot dead inside the hostel compound, one student is missing, three students wounded and receiving treatment currently in the hospital.
“On the same day, Professor Emma-Emma again was also attacked on his way home from work and sustained machete cuts. He’s currently receiving treatment at home. Dr. Timson Ndupuechi was attacked, Dr. James Bature was also attacked, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, Dr. Bolchit Dala and two other comrades, Dr. Jimam Lar were attacked.”
Speaking further, Maigoro added: “Uniform men invaded the Village hostel of the university, shot and killed defenceless students rather than protect them from external aggression.
”On September 27, 2018, 11 members of family of one of our staff, Mr. Kogi Audu, a driver, were brutally murdered while sleeping at night in their house along Rukuba road.
“On September 28, Mr. Thomas Dung was attacked at Angwan Rukuba, the Hilux vehicle he was driving was burnt, the driver sustained injuries that led to his death six days later. Two students lost their lives and a third, a 200L student who was shot on Monday, October 1, 2018, is currently receiving treatment from bullet wounds at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital in Jos.
“The three campuses of the university are in very hostile areas and the constant attacks on staff and students have the tendency of degenerating into a major catastrophe someday if not checked.”
He called for the creation of alternative escape routes on the campuses and the “immediate end of cattle grazing on the campus as it is distracting to academic activities and a cause of anxiety to members of the university community, in view of the recent menace posed by herders in the country.”