ATBU Reopens after Two Weeks’ Forced Closure

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Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, has been reopened for academic activities after the management closed it down for two weeks, as students commenced their examinations.

Recently, students of the university, following the death of three students when a metal bridge collapsed, vandalised some parts of the Senate building and the medical clinic in the school.

THISDAY reported that a metal bridge linking the student hostels and the lecture halls had collapsed following a heavy downpour which led to the death of four students while seven others were injured.

Following the incident, the students went on a violent protest over the management refusal to fix the bridge before it collapsed despite several requests made.

The management immediately shut down the school for two weeks to avert an escalation of the incident.

Briefing journalists in his office on the Gubi campus yesterday, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Ibrahim Danjuma, said the school reopened last Monday.

According to him, “All students resumed last Monday successfully. Report from the Dean of Student Affairs indicated that the students are back to school.

“Examinations started this (yesterday) morning smoothly even though SSANNU and NASU are on a nationwide strike. However, examination is purely an academic affair manned by academic staff, that is why it is going on smoothly.”

Danjuma stated that the school management has made several efforts to improve the welfare of the students before the school was reopened last Monday.

He said: “The management is in close contact with security agencies in the state to improve security of all staff, students and properties of the institution. Our security personnel are also being retrained to improve their capacity for optimal performance on the campus.

“We have also ensured that the students’ hostels are fixed with its sanitary conditions improved.”

The DVC said the management also cordoned off the area of the collapsed bridge, and “prohibited students going through that route,” adding that “we have discovered another stream which we also cordoned off.”

Danjuma explained that the students who went on the violent protest over the death of their colleagues smashed windows and doors of the Senate building; vandalised solar street lights within the school, some properties at the medical clinic as well as doors and windows of the College of Medicine and Faculty of Education buildings.

Danjuma said that the management had directed that all the cars and motorcycle destroyed be fixed and same have been taken to the mechanic workshop.