By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Vice-Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, (ATBU), Bauchi, Prof. Saminu Ibrahim, has appealed to the federal government to come to its aid in rebuilding and renovating structures of the institution destroyed by windstorm.
Many lives were lost, hundreds of houses, schools and property worth millions of naira in many parts of the state capital were destroyed as a result of the windstorm penultimate Saturday.
The Bauchi State Government had confirmed that eight people were killed during the windstorm, while over 120 people sustained injuries and over 1,500 homes were destroyed as well as over 349 schools including ATBU, churches and mosques and about 3,000 electricity poles destroyed in Bauchi metropolis during the incident.
The vice-chancellor, who made the appeal Monday during a news conference in Bauchi, said the federal government has invested so much in the structures of the institution and could not be left to be destroyed.
He said: “The structures need to be fixed so that the purpose for which the university was set up will be achieved.
Therefore, we are appealing to the federal government to come and take stock of the damages and come up with relief measures.”
According to him, “Specifically, the central library of the university which was seriously damaged needed urgent attention of government. We all know the importance of library in the university, it stores all the information and research work conducted.
“We cannot do it from our lean resources. That is why we are seeking government’s intervention,” adding that the “windstorm affected badly the building and structures of two campuses of Yelwa and Gubi”.
“Twenty-six of the structures on the campuses were severely damaged by the storm, disrupting their ongoing second semester examinations which is about to end.
“The windstorm also affected the power source, students’ hostels, water sources, medical laboratory, staff rooms and quarters,” he said
The vice-chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Abdullahi Umar, said the windstorm uprooted trees, electric and other poles and telecommunications masts.
According to him, the storm left in its trail destruction as poles and trees collapsed on buildings; damaging roofs and properties, while roofs on high rise buildings were either completely removed or seriously damaged.
He said the most affected structures are the central library and the College of Medical Sciences.
“So also the research centre, diary farms sheep and goat house were damaged by the storm,” he said.
Ibrahim disclosed that the management of the institution restored the power section to enable the students continue with their studies and examination.
“We are therefore taking the inventory and of loses and damages accrued during the storm.
“The management are calling on all relevant agencies such as the National Universities Commission (NUC) and TETFUND to look into the situation of the institution and intervene.
“We are also calling on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Bauchi State Government to visit the university and consider the institution as part and parcel of the state to provide relief materials and succour,” Ibrahim said.