Trade unions in the University of Maiduguri have described the federal government as insensitive to the security threats by Boko Haram in the varsity, alleging that the government’s inaction on the security situation was helping in giving boost to Boko Haram ideology.
The university is located in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, which is the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency that has caused about 100,000 deaths since 2009.
“Boko Haram proclaims western education as forbidden and the University of Maiduguri is at the forefront of championing western education in the country.
“So, for Boko Haram, sustained attacks on the university would attentuate the insurgents’ wild ideology,” the leader of the unions and chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dani Mamman, said on Wednesday at a press conference in Maiduguri.
Mr. Mamman said ASUU, SSANU (Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities), NASU (Non Academic Staff Union), NATT (National Association of Academic Technologies), and the Student Union Government of the University were compelled to bring to the public the precarious security situation and threats to life at UNIMAID.
He disclosed that increasing Boko Haram attacks in the state in recent times show that the insurgents were regrouping again, warning government to wake up to its responsibility.
Mr. Mamman said the unions were particularly worried that neither the minister of education nor a federal government delegation has visited the university since January 16 when the Boko Haram first bombed the university campus killing a professor of veterinary medicine, Aliyu Mani.
He said the government’s action reflected its “insensitivity to the plight of the university, students and parents” that lost loved ones. He added that government’s inaction also tends to support Boko Haram ideology against western education making the insurgents to keep the tempo of attacks on the campus, the latest being multiple explosions on June 25.
“That was the eight (8) deadly attack within five months,” the ASUU chairman said.
He disclosed that 70 professors and other staff that fled the university in the wake of incessant attacks have started returning only to be confronted with suicide bomb attacks even while peace was gradually returning to the troubled state.
He urged the federal government to build the perimeter fence at the varsity and approve the N2.8 billion requested by the university authority to procure modern security equipment to stop Boko Haram from executing “greater attacks” on the campus.
The unions threatened to disrupt the academic calendar of the university should the federal government fail to act in time.