By Ralph Madugu
Disturbed by the frequent attacks on students and staff of the University of Jos, the Plateau State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has advocated for the conversion of the Race Course, popularly known as Fillin Sukuwa, on the Bauchi Ring Road into a Mobile Police Barracks to protect the staff and students.
The NUJ is a statement issued and signed by the state chairman, Paul Jatau, and secretary, Peter Amine, decried the situation where the university community had become a target for miscreants which had led to loss of lives of many innocent and harmless students.
While calling on security agencies to devise more strategies to protect the institution and other residents of Jos, the journalists appealed to the state government to make concerted efforts to stem the rising cases of violent conflict in the state.
The NUJ also called on the Plateau State Government to regulate the activities of tricycle operators in Jos by reducing the number to 500 with specific registration numbers and designated routes of operation.
“Modalities should be made to compel those who encroached on the University of Jos land be compelled to vacate.
“Operation Rainbow should build and equip a Security Outpost close to the university like the one being operated at Dutse Uku, in Jos North Local Government.”
The union advised students and staff of the university to be security conscious and provide useful information to security agencies in the state for prompt action.
Meanwhile, the management of the institution has announced the suspension of examinations for the 2019/2020 second semester Academic Session and all academic activities in the University until further notice.
In a public notice from the University and signed by the Registrar, Chief Monday Danjem said that after an emergency meeting with the Committee of Deans, Directors and Provost on Friday, 20th August, 2021, approved the suspension of Examinations and all Academic Activities in the University.
This according to the statement followed “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.
The statement added that the management of the institution has also directed the closure of all Students Hostels until further notice.
“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.”
Today’s Challenge gathered that on August 8, 2021, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Gray Goziem Ejikeme, visited the various student’s hostels to assess the security situation on ground.
During the visit, it was further gathered that the Acting VC who addressed the students and promised to beef up security measures and provide palliative care to ameliorate the suffering of students in the hostels.
He empathized 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.
The Acting VC also commended Gov. Simon Lalong for being proactive by imposing the curfew in the state acknowledging the situation would have been worse without the curfew.
He however, appreciated students for remaining calm in the midst of the crises and also applauded the Security Agencies for the role played in ensuring the safety of the University Community.