Buhari mourns victims
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The authorities of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi has announced the closure of the university in honour of the students who died as a result of a heavy downpour.
President Muhammadu Buhari last night commiserated with the families of the students.
Four students were killed while many others were injured on Monday night after a pedestrian bridge collapsed at the Gubi campus.
It was gathered that the deceased students were returning to the hostel when the bridge connecting one of the hostels to another building containing lecture rooms collapsed.
They were returning from a night class to their hostels after the heavy downpour.
According to reports, there were 20 students on the bridge when the tragedy struck.
Eight of them who got caught in the frenzy were said to have sustained injuries while others are missing.
Following the tragedy, some irate students had taken to the school premises yesterday to protest the death of their colleagues.
They also faulted the bridge collapse on negligence by the school authorities.
In reaction to the incident, the school authorities announced the shutdown of the varsity till August 19, 2019.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Muhammad Abdullazeez, yesterday said that the closure was in honour of the students who died as a result of the flood.
“I regret to announce the death of four of our students on August 5, 2019. The unfortunate incident that led to the demise of the students occurred late last night (Monday), at the Gubi Campus of the university,” he said.
“While full details of the occurrence are being awaited, the University Senate, at an emergency meeting this morning, (August 6, 2019) has decided to close the university in honour of the students. We closed down the school because we are mourning. The reopening date has been fixed for Tuesday, August 19, 2019.”
Meanwhile, President Buhari last night commiserated with the families of the students who lost their lives.
The president, according to a statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, described the incident as “tragic, sad and unfortunate,” and condoled with the management, staff and students of the university.
The statement said the president also appealed to university authorities to prioritise the safety of students under their care, regretting that “these future leaders and potential family benefactors met such an untimely end.”
It also said Buhari prayed the Almighty God to console the bereaved families and the university community, grant speedy healing to the injured students, and rest to the souls of the departed.