The management of Adamawa State University has failed to reinstate the students’ press club operating in the institution one year after banning its operations.
Belmond Benson, the university’s spokesperson, told PREMIUM TIMES the case is still being handled by the “appropriate quarters.”
“Due process is being followed,” Mr Benson said when asked for an update on the lifting of the ban.
“They have written so it’s being processed. Before the school went on lockdown they were looking for them and they couldn’t reach the students so they left the matter like that until we resume now.
“And there are lots of issues that are coming up again. The matter is being handled by the management,” he said.
Mr Benson, however, refused to state when the press club would be reinstated.
Premium Times earlier reported that the management banned the press club for three months for allegedly posing a threat “to the security of other students on campus.”
In a letter forwarded to the president of the press club, signed by the Acting Registrar, Ahmed Ghaji, it stated that “Management has received with dismay the report on the activities of the Press Club and the threat it poses to the security of other students on campus.”
According to the statement, the press club was banned from operating on campus for three months with effect from January 27.
Mr Ghaji directed the press club to immediately stop every activity and ensure strict compliance by all members.
Freedom on campuses
During this year’s World Press Freedom Day, the National Union of Campus Journalists reiterated its condemnation of the move by the school management and student union government to gag press freedom on campus.
“The union rejects all forms of attacks on campus press organizations and students journalists and other actions that may stifle free press on campus,” it said in the statement.
“At NUCJ, we shall continue to promote freedom of the press and protect the collective interests of campus journalists across Nigeria.”
In May 2019, a student of Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU), Ikot Akpaden, was suspended indefinitely from the school for allegedly calling the university vice-chancellor ‘foolish’ on Facebook.
In February 2019, six students of the Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State, were arrested and detained for posting ‘offensive’ messages on Facebook. They have been released on bail.
In October 2020, PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Taraba State University expelled a first-year student, Joseph Israel, after he repeatedly criticised the state governor, Darius Ishaku, on Facebook.
In November 2020, the management of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, (FUNAAB) in Ogun State, expelled one of its students over a Facebook post drawing the attention of the public to the alleged indiscriminate arrest of his colleagues by the police and incessant robbery attacks on campus.
Last year, the State Security Services (SSS) arrested and charged Ayoola Babalola, a campus journalist, to court for allegedly publishing articles in a campus newspaper called GAPOSA Trumpet in which he served as the editor. Mr Babalola was remanded in Ibara Maximum Prison in Abeokuta and later released on bail.
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