AT least three state governments have evacuated their stranded indigenes studying at the University of Jos following the tension sparked by the recent killing of four students of the institution.
The attack on the students is believed to have been the fallout of the August 14 murder of 22 travellers close to the Plateau State capital.
The authorities of the institution have already suspended the ongoing examinations in the university and asked the students to vacate the campus on account of the situation.
Kogi, Niger and Gombe states have moved their students out of the city.
The Abuja Original Youths Empowerment Organisation (AOIYEO) said it has, in collaboration with the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), evacuated 276 indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from the university.
The Chief Press Secretary to Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, Muhammed Onogwu, said yesterday in Lokoja that the students were escorted out of Jos by security personnel.
It said the Kogi State Government also helped in evacuating stranded students from Ebonyi, Benue, Nasarawa State and the FCT, among others.
He said: “Following the recent attacks in Plateau State, particularly in Jos North Local Government Area of the state, and the closing down of the University of Jos by the school management, Kogi State students studying in the university and other higher institutions in Plateau State have been successfully evacuated by the state government.
“The students returned in buses with heavy security escorts provided by the state government on Friday.
“This was as a result of the directive of Governor Yahaya Bello mandating that everything necessary must be done to return the students safely back home.
“While describing the event on the Plateau as unfortunate, the governor assured the students of their quick return to school, noting that the authority in Plateau State was on top of the situation to restore law and order in the state.”
The Abuja Original Youths Empowerment Organisation (AOIYEO) said separately that it had, in collaboration with National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), evacuated over 279 students, who are natives and residents of Abuja from Jos.
The President of AOIYEO, Mr. Isaac David, said in Abuja that the action was necessary to avoid any harm befalling the students.
He added: “Our citizens studying in Plateau State were stranded in the area as a result of the curfew imposed on some local government areas by the state government.
“It was as a measure to curtail the security situation in the state.
“We closely monitored the situation and we collaborated with National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to ensure the safe evacuation of our citizens and it became achievable,” he said.
NULASS demands immediate return of Lagos State students in UNIJOS
The National Union of Lagos State Students (NULASS) yesterday called for the immediate return of its members from University of Jos (UNIJOS) on account of the security challenge in parts of the state.
Spokesman of NULASS, Mr. Hassan Abdulsalam, said the environment was unsafe for NULASS members in the university.
He said the President of NULASS, Mr Shasanya Akinola, had reached out to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to consider the request with a view to saving the lives of Lagos State students in UNIJOS.
“It is saddening to hear that students are in a state where they don’t have family to defend them, rescue and ascertain their wellbeing in the middle of the crisis,” he said.
The Registrar of UniJos, Chief Monday Danjem, said the suspension of academic activities would subsist until further notice.
Danjem said: “Following the risky and precarious insecurity situation in Jos, the imposition of dusk to dawn curfew, which has affected the academic activities including the suspension of Second Semester Examinations for the 2019/2020 Academic Session in the University of Jos, the University continued to experience loss of lives of some of our students.
“Consequently, the Management of the University of Jos, after an emergency meeting with the Committee of Deans, Directors and Provost on Friday, 20th August, 2021, has approved the suspension of Examinations for the Second Semester 2019/2020 Academic Session and all Academic Activities in the University until further notice, subject to ratification by the Senate of the University.
“Management has also directed the closure of all students’ hostels until further notice.
“Management’s decision was taken following an Emergency Meeting of Management and the Committee of Deans, Directors and Provost of the University held on Friday 20th August, 2021 in view of the intensified killings of students around the University of Jos area shortly after the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew in the state on Monday, 19th August, 2021, and also considering that it will be risky to delay security measures to stop the brutal killing of students and protect the lives of students.
Also considering the high risk involved in having a Senate meeting in the present risky and precarious security situation in which the brutal killing of students and staff of the University seem to be on the rise.
“All Students of the University resident in the various hostels are to return home or safer places until normalcy is restored. Students are also advised to use safe means of transportation to their respective safer destinations.
“We passionately appeal that a joint patrol team of armed soldiers and other law enforcement agencies should beef up security and ensure that students are adequately protected as they evacuate their hostels to safe destinations; the life or security of every student matters to Management of the University of Jos and other stakeholders.
“Students are to note that adequate notice will be given to them when normalcy is fully restored in Jos and environs to enable them return for the conclusion of their Second Semester Examinations and other academic activities.
“Earlier, on Tuesday 8th August, 2021, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gray Goziem Ejikeme, who went round the various hostels of the University to assess the security situation on ground, used the opportunity to address and pacify the students in four hostels of the University where he promised to get the Management of the University to beef up security measures and provide palliative care to ameliorate the suffering of students in the hostels.
“He empathised with them on account of the security threats, fears and hardships they had been experiencing especially their difficulty in accessing food items and food vendors outside the University premises since the breach of peace was recorded and the 24-hour curfew was imposed in Jos.”
COCIN condemns murder of commuters
The Church Of Christ In Nations (COCIN) yesterday condemned the August 14 attack and killing of commuters in Jos and the subsequent reprisals.
President of the church, the Reverend Dachollom C. Datiri, and the Secretary-General, the Rev. Benjamin Pokol, said in a joint statement in Jos that there must be an immediate end to “the ceaseless bloodbath that has claimed numerous precious lives.”
The church also condemned “the mowing down of hectares of forms and crops in Bassa, Riyom and Barkin Ladi local government areas”, saying these acts were “barbaric, savage, wicked, demonic, uncivilized and unacceptable, to say the least.”
It commiserated with the governments and people of Plateau and Ondo states over the killings. It also extended its condolences to the families of the victims.
It asked government to rise to the occasion and take responsibility for the wanton destruction of lives, crops and property.
It said: “Government must do everything in its constitutional power to project the ideals of justice, righteousness, equity and fairness to all Nigerians, irrespective of their tribes, religions, political and ethnic inclinations.
“While we commend the swift response of the securities and the federal Government to the Rukuba Road killings, we wish to call on the securities in a similar fashion, specifically the OPSH, to as a matter of urgency use their intelligence and capacity to arrest and prosecute those terrorising our communities in Bassa, Riyom, Jos North and Barkin ladi LGAs.
“Government must remember that if justice is not seen to be done, it will appear that government is herself fanning the embers of crisis.
“The conflicting reports about the identity of those killed on Rukuba Road and their mission is also very worrisome. We therefore call on the government to conduct an unbiased investigation to clear rumours, doubts and accusations.
“We commend the government for having placed the curfew which helped to check the escalation of the crisis and possible reprisal attacks. However, securities need to intensify efforts during curfews as experience has shown that people are still being attacked and killed.”
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