Following the massacre that took place in Jos area of Plateau state, it has been reported that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU), has advised the Federal Government to secure the University of Jos against attacks and killing of its staff and students before the next reopening of the school.
The Union reportedly made the request in a statement on Sunday due to the insecurity in Jos and other parts of Plateau state, leading to the killing of some students, which resulted to shutting down of the University till further notice.
According to a statement signed by ASUU chairman, University of Jos, Dr Lazarus Maigoro, “Our Union continues to scratch its head, to understand how the university community is always at the receiving end of the crisis in Jos. Despite all the provocation, we have continued to offer community service to all, irrespective of religion, culture, and tribe.’
The statement disclosed that, “The university administration has over the years made overtures to neighboring communities in terms of undergraduate admissions and staff employment, yet our students and staff are killed at the slightest provocation, no matter how far the epicenter of the crisis from the university.”
The statement continued that, “It is rather unfortunate to note that some of these attacks on the University community are coming from residents of encroached University lands, operators of Keke Napep and others who besiege the University arena to sell their goods and patronized by the same staff and students as their means of economic livelihood but turn back and kill them at the slightest opportunity.”
It stressed that, “As I speak now, I can say authoritatively that three students have lost their lives, two more are on admission at the Bingham University Teaching hospital due to injuries sustained when they were attacked and there is no guarantee that we may not be confronted with more statistics as the days roll by.”
Maigoro disclosed that, “The on-going examinations had been suspended and the students have been asked to go home thereby abruptly distabilising the semester and the academic session at large. This equally means longer stay in school for the students in the face of harsh economic realities in the country. As teachers to these students, our hearts are bleeding because they are our children and no father would like to see his child being killed because he went to University to acquire a degree.”
He restated that, “ASUU is a union that cares about the safety of the lives of her students and staff to ensure confidence in the discharge of their duties. We lack words strong enough to condemn this barbaric act.”
He made it known that, “The responsibility to secure lives and property squarely rests on the shoulders of the government. This is very closely related to justice and we call on the government to ensure justice is done to all communities that have been affected. Failure to do so will only lead us to a greater and vicious cycle of violence through reprisal attacks.”
He appealed that, “We are also calling on government to provide a very strong security presence around the University of Jos community and the routes to the University because when the same thing happened in 2018 where we lost staff and two students, our union raised concerns and we were told that adequate security measures would be put in place to mitigate further occurrences but ALAS, here we are again, with more lives lost.”
Maigoro also said that, “It is clear that the security personnel have not displayed the kind of swift response we witnessed in arresting some suspects of the Rukuba road attack in relation to the University of Jos situation at all. We would like to remind the government that ALL LIVES MATTER. Each time these security breaches occur and the lives of staff and students of the University of Jos are lost, no one is ever arrested.”