By Kuni Tyessi
Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja (UniAbuja), Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, has described the events that led to a recent protest within the campus as regrettable, pledging that it will never reoccur.
He said an investigation has began to unravel the remote causes of the student uprising, just as he assured that nothing would derail the reform measures being instituted in the university.
Na’Allah who mad this known when celebrating the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Professor Sani Muhammed Adam, who recently got elevated as Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LLPC), said it was unfortunate that the students resolved to protest.
Recall that while some of the aggrieved students took to the streets to protest an increase in tuition fees, military and police personnel were reported to have come hard on the students, using tear-gas and canisters to disperse them.
Immediately they succeeded in dispersing the protesters, heavy presence of armed policemen and internal security operatives have been a regular feature at the institution, especially the main gate into the university.
According to the Vice Chancellor, his resolve to take the university to greater heights, where it can compete favourably with its peers abroad has not waned.
“It is unfortunate that the students resolved to stage a protest. The truth is that this university is on its way forward and not backward. It is a university where before now; some people do not register throughout the year, some people graduate even without registration.
“It is a university where a lot of students did not understand that we have a deadline. We as a university, are responsible for training people so that when they become leaders tomorrow, they are matured enough to do the right thing.
“We are going to do research and investigate to know exactly where the problem lies. Whatever has happened will never happen again. My only concern is how to move the university to greater heights. I want to set a standard whereby this university will be able to compete with its counterpart globally.”
While extolling the virtues of Professor Adam, the VC urged him to use his elevation to promote peace and common development of Nigeria.
He said, UniAbuja would remain proud to be an institution that produced a Senior Advocate of Nigeria within the academic community.
“For them to appoint one of us to be equal to that task, is indeed a thing of pride to this university. We are proud of Adam and I want you to know that wherever you go, bear in mind that you are representing the University of Abuja.
“We have come together to celebrate him because it is an achievement that is exemplary. What he has achieved to become a SAN is an indication of hard work and I want everybody to key into that example.”
In his response, Adam commended the university for organising the party to celebrate him, while decrying the high level of corruption in the nations justice system.
He said there is a need for collaborative efforts to revamp the judiciary.
“I must admit that there is so much corruption in the judiciary and all lawyers must work to revamp the judiciary because if the judiciary is doing what it is supposed to do, there will be a timely dispensation of justice without delay,’’ Adams said.