The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, says the Federal Government has no plan to close the University of Maiduguri in spite of upsurge of attacks by insurgents.
Mr. Adamu made the remarks during a visit to the university on Friday.
He condoled with the university community over the brutal murder of some staff of the institution by Boko Haram insurgents.
The minister said the government does not want academic activities at the institution to be truncated, in spite of the security situation in the state.
“You demonstrate great courage and resilience to stay here to do your work despite the security challenges.
“We commend you and the government appreciate what you are doing; even to work in Maiduguri requires courage.
“Before I come here, I had thought of closing down the university, but, after listening to the Vice Chancellor and seeing what you are doing, I am proud of you,” Mr. Adamu said
He remarked that he felt ashamed to have thought of closing the school, saying, however, that he was happy to see that the university stakeholders were committed to working despite the security threats.
“The federal government will not close the university and will provide you with all necessary support.’’
The minister suggested that the university senate should deliberate on the security matter affecting the institution and make recommendations to secure it.
He pledged more assistance to the university to enhance security and academic activities.
Mr. Adamu also condoled with families of victims of the insurgency in the university community and prayed for the repose of their souls.
Speaking earlier, the Vice Chancellor, Ibrahim Njodi, said that that five staff of the institution were killed in the recent insurgent attack.
Mr. Njodi listed the deceased to include two geologists, two technologists and a driver.
He said that four other staff were still missing; they include two lecturers, one technologist and a driver.
“We are seriously concerned about their safety, we contacted the security to know their whereabouts,’’ the VC said.
He told the minister that the university had entered into a partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin.
“In our commitment to contribute to the country’s economic development, we defied the odds and joined the operation.
“Initially, we reluctantly accepted to go back and joined the operation, but we were assured of adequate security.
“The deceased (victims of the insurgency) should be immortalised, they deserve the national honour.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that Boko Haram insurgent on Tuesday attacked a team of workers on oil exploration exercise in the Lake Chad basin and abducted some of them.