By Ralph Madugu
Staff of the University of Jos under the Joint Action Committee of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) UNIJOS chapter have called for the siting of what it tagged “a permanent, formidable and Save Our Souls (SOS) Military or Mobile Police Unit” at the Joshua Dariye Park to serve as quick response in the event of any breakdown of law and order.
The joint staff unions made the call in a press statement issued in Jos in the wake of recent happenings and signed by Comrade Anthony T. Joro SSANU Chairman and Comrade Bitrus J. Dagwer, NASU Chairman.
In the statement, the Unions said “It is with a heavy heart that the leadership of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU Unijos branch write to draw the attention of the Federal Government, Plateau State Government, the Chairman Plateau State Traditional Council of Chiefs, the Chairmen of Jos North and Jos South and Bassa Local Government Areas over the incessant and unabated killings of Students and Staff of the University by miscreants surrounding the University Community.
“This satanic, gruesome and unreasonable act was first recorded in September 2001 and has persistently remained so till date. The most unfortunate incidence repeated its ugly self on Sunday 16th August, 2021 and till the time of writing this press release, our Students and Staff are still being targeted for silent killings, with unaccounted number still at large.
“This has ushered in a scary scenario where Parents and State Governments all over the Federation had to come to the rescue of their children and students by evacuating them out of the University environment to safe havens, which eventually led to the abrupt stoppage of an ongoing Second Semester Examinations and the shutdown of all Academic activities in the institution. As sad as it is, we feel this call for an immediate, drastic and urgent intervention by both the Federal and State Governments.”
While calling for urgent steps to guarantee the safety of both staff and students of the University in the face of current security challenges, JAC called on the Plateau State Government to ensure the registration of all commercial vehicles and tricycles (Keke) within Jos metropolis for proper identification in the event of any security breach.
It also demanded for the conversion of the abandoned Jos Main Market to a security outpost of either the Nigerian Police Force or the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to serve as rescue point for students and citizens within town in case of any upheavals.
The Unions also tasked the Federal Government and State Governments to as a matter of urgency consider the construction of a safe passage route linking Farin Gada round about through Russau Village into the Naraguta Campus of the institution. This according to the Unions will provide protection to students, staff and others coming or leaving the University.
Said JAC “The Federal Government through TetFund Intervention should consider building additional students hostels and staff quarters within the University. This will help in securing the lives and properties of Students and Staff because most of them have to bear the brunt of renting houses off campus due to insufficient quarters and hostel accommodations. The Federal Government should equally assist the University by erecting parameter fence round the entire campus, as it is with other Universities in the Country.
“The Federal and State Government should henceforth make it a matter of policy, to hold Leaders of Settler Communities around the University responsible for the loss of lives of Students and Staff where corpses are found, as they know better members of their Community with questionable character.”
Commending the efforts of the Plateau State Government through the Jos North Local Government Chairman for sealing the premises of A.Y. M Shafa Filing Station over the loss of life of a student, they staff Unions equally demanded for the demolition of the Petrol Station to serve as deterrence to others who would not save the lives of Students or Staff in dire need of safety during attacks.
They also called on the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police and the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) through their respective State Commissioner/State Commandant to authorize the constant patrol of routes leading to and fro the University.
“Finally, we call on the Federal, State, Local Governments and Settlers Communities surrounding the University to take urgent actions on the items above to guaranty peaceful coexistence within our academic environment that has been ravaged with grievous attacks over the years by miscreants, criminal elements and religious extremist who are bent on destroying the academic prowess of our esteemed University.”