After a two weeks closure following the death of some students of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, due to the collapse of a wooden bridge linking the classes with the hostels, management of the institution has directed its reopening for academic activities just as the students have started their first semester examinations.
While briefing journalists in his office at the Gubi Campus on Tuesday, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Institution, Professor Ibrahim Danjuma, said that the school reopened on Monday with all the students intact.
He said that “All resumed yesterday (Monday) successfully. Report from the Dean of Student Affairs indicated that all students are back to school except the three students that died in the unfortunate incident. Exams started this morning smoothly and hitch-free, even though SSANNU and NASU are on a nationwide strike. But examination is purely an academic affair manned by academic staff that is why it is going on smoothly”.
Ibrahim Danjuma also said that the management has made several efforts to improve the welfare of the students before the school was reopened last Monday saying: “The management is in close contact with security agencies in the state to improve the security of all staff, students and properties within 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 that the management also cordoned off the area of the bridge collapse and “it is prohibited for students to pass through that route” adding that “we have discovered another stream which we also cordoned off”.
He said that “the students who went on the violent protest over the death of the three students smashed windows and doors of the Senate building, solar street lights within the school were vandalised, some properties at the Medical Clinic were also smashed. Doors and windows at the College of Medicine and Faculty of Education were also smashed”.
According to him: ” The windscreen of three cars were also smashed and one motorcycle was also affected. Ironically, one of the cars belongs to a student of the institution. Some windows and doors of the Senate building were smashed by the students.
He added that “The clinic that was partly touched by the students is being fixed and is 80% completed. Medical personnel including the doctors and nurses are there. They have been directed to give students medical attention and they are attending to the students.”
Ibrahim Danjuma said that the management had directed that all the cars and motorcycle be fixed and some have been taken to the mechanic workshop and informed that the Seven-man committee set up by the Management to investigate the incident finished its assignment and had submitted its report disclosing that “management should look into these recommendations.”
It will be recalled that following the death of three students when a metal bridge collapsed, students vandalised parts of the Senate building and the Medical Clinic. The management immediately shut down the school for two weeks to avert an escalation of the incident.