By Ralph Madugu
“Honestly, we the students of the University of Jos are sick and tired of being specimens in the laboratory for testing of ideologies. We are tired of being a premise for the expression of unholy and inglorious sentiments. Whenever a person is killed in Enugu, Jossites pay the price. Whenever a person is killed in Katsina, Jossites pay the price. Whenever a person is attacked in Bassa or Riyom, Jossites pay the price. When an Imam violates Covid-19 protocols, Jossites pay the price. When a pastor is involved in rough driving, Jossites pay the price. What sin have we really committed against the Nigerian State to deserve all these pains, sorrows and neglect?
Above were the words of the Students Union Government leadership of the UNIJOS chapter at a press conference addressed by the Student union body in the wake of the recent crises that left several people dead including students of the University of Jos.
In text titled “Justice for Josites”, signed by the trio of Danladi Joshua Adankala, SUG President, Prosper Nanshin Lakai, SUG Speaker and Sunday Kitgak Timothy, Student Judicial Council Chairman, the Student Union body disclosed that as part of the aftermath of the incident of 14th August was the “brutal killings” of innocent students by “some elements guided by inhuman and barbaric philosophies,” and regretted that “unfortunately, our cry is not loud enough to attract any media or government attention.
“Like a tale of drift and instability, we are just students, the people whose plights are not worth phone call let alone security cover, and an unfortunate people surrendered to chances by the very government that should have protected us,” the Student body lamented.
Recalling some of the incidences, the SUG narrated thus: “On Sunday15th August in what is being associated with the 14th August incident, many of our innocent and unarmed students were AGAIN attacked and killed in the most brutal fashion and many declared missing. Were count with great pains: The gory picture of Doris Bitrus Danboyi, a student of the Department of Religion and Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, was shared with a laceration occasioned by a knife deeply buried into her thorax. She was murdered in the most brutal fashion around Bauchi Junction on Sunday morning 15th August on her way to Church. A medical student was stabbed and matcheted just at the gate of Naraguta Hostel. The decaying body of Bagu Christopher, a100 Level Student of History and International Studies, was found after somedays of search.
“Mafeng Ezekiel, a student of the Department of Economics Education is still missing to this hour. A 400 Level student of Geology Department by name Moses Joyce Tsaku who was also declared missing was found at the Intensive Care Unit of Bingham University Teaching Hospital in a very bad condition with matchete cuts all round her body, we pray that she survives.
“Kwaghaondo Kingsley Aondona, a 400 Level Medical Student is lying almost lifeless at the Intensive Care Unit of Bingham University Teaching Hospital. Peace Isaiah, a Student of Science and Technical Education was found in Ola Hospital after hours of tedious search. Currently, Students and our staff are still missing. Only God knows their where about and we hope they will be safely found.
According to the student body, this is not the beginning stating that on the 30th September, 2018, Kums Shedrack Fenan, a 300 Level student of Law was murdered inside the Village hostel by the usual “Unknown Gun man”.
It narrated further, “On the same day, James Paul was murdered at Kunga alongside five others in their sleep. Same day, many of our students’ sustained degrees of injuries. Notable was a female student that was stabbed by hoodlums just at the gate of the village hostel. Furthermore, the gunshots around the Village Hostel that day was one of the horrible incidences we’ve witnessed as students of the University of Jos. To this day, there are still holes on the Hostel wall of Compound 11 (Special Students Compound) occasioned by the bullets fired into the Hostel.
“In 2019, Blessing John and Peace Obi were matcheted along Bauchi road on their way from terminus market for the sin we are still figuring out. Same year, Uche got missing, and was found days later, murdered and thrown into the bushes along Dariye Park. Just few months ago, a 500 lev el student of Law by name Mr. Iliya G Pigera was stabbed and thrown on the street like a criminal. Not to even mention the likes of Rinji Bala that were murdered by security personnel in cold blood.”
In what they described as their prayers, the SUG appealed to the government thus: “Once again, we appeal to the government to as a matter of responsibility mount security check units around NNPC Junction of Bauchi Road, Sukuwa Junction of Ring road, Bauchi Junction, Between Naraguta Village and Gidan Mai Jagap (Kunga), Clinic Gate of P. Site, Village Hostel Gate, Farin-gada Market, Angwan Rukuba and Bauchi Road. This will help in curtailing the silent killing of JOSSITES going on even after unrests.
While appealing to the Government to urgently mount a Mobile Police or Military Mini Barrack between Naraguta Village and the Permanent Site, the SUG called on the Government to as a matter of urgency employ the same apparatuses and mechanisms they used in apprehending 20 suspects of the 14th August incident to arrest and bring to justice the killers of our students.
“The communities that host our students such as Kunga (Gidan Mai Jagap), Russau, Farin-gada, Sukuwa, Angwan Rukuba, Angwan Rogo, among others should be intentional about protecting the vulnerable students. A student anywhere is a custodian of posterity and a CONSCIENCE of every nation and must be protected against all odds.
“The University Authority should as a matter of urgent priority expand the scope of transportation services available to students and staff both on and off campus. This Will enable us to boycott the services of Keke and bike riders most of whom we suspect are among our attackers and killers.
“The University Authority should establish a market or multipurpose store where basic foodstuff can be found on campus. This will prevent us from unnecessary trips to the markets in the neighbouring communities where our economic impact is not even appreciated.
The students also appealed to Amnesty International, the National Human Rights Commission and other agencies, organizations and association to come to the aid of their aid, the students reiterated that their voices are fading, yet no one is listening to us and appealed to the Plateau State Government through the Peace Building Agency to fashion programmes that will enhance mutual understanding and tolerance between its members and their hosts communities, especially Naraguta Village, Kunga and Faringada.
“As a matter of urgency, the state Government should appeal to the federal government to facilitate building of perimeter fencing of our institution.
“There should be more accommodation (Hostels) for students of the University of Jos, this will go a long way in reducing the number students who stay off campus.”