Eighty students of Ahmadu Bello University were evacuated from the school in Zaria by their states following recent crisis that rocked parts of Kaduna State without the knowledge of the university authority, the institution’s vice chancellor, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, raised the alarm yesterday.
A statement by VC’s media consultant Waziru Isa Gwantu said Rivers and Jigawa states “whisked away 80 students of the university in suspicious manner” and the institution had already alerted the federal government of the development, as the university’s authorities were not contacted before the students were “smuggled out”.
“Rivers and Jigawa State governments have whisked away 80 students of our university in a suspicious manner on Friday and Saturday, June 22 and 23. Four buses belonging to the Jigawa State government with armed mobile police escort forced their way into the Kongo campus of the university where the state’s students numbering 50 were whisked away.
“The Rivers State government, too, on Saturday committed a similar trespass and illegally evacuated students from the state in a 40-seater bus. The bus was also escorted by armed mobile policemen. Neither of the governments of these states consulted the Kaduna State governor, who is the chief security officer of the state or the authorities of the university before evacuating the students. This was why the university management alerted the federal government of this development,” it said.
When contacted, Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s spokesman David Iyofor said he would get back to our correspondent later because he needed to get certain things clear before making comments.
In its response, the Jigawa State Education Commissioner, Professor Haruna Wakili, said it was wrong for ABU authorities to go to press over the issue of the evacuation of its students from the school. Professor Wakili said the right thing for the institution to do was to contact the state government over the matter, adding that the state government did not call a press conference when they evacuated the students for security reasons.
In a related development, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has ordered the immediate evacuation of students of the state’s origin from trouble zones in the country.
The decision, according to him stemmed from the incessant attacks by militants suspected to be Boko Haram on innocent citizens in some parts of the northern states.
In a statement released by his spokesman, Daniel Iworiso yesterday in Yenagoa, the governor said the action was meant to safeguard the lives of its indigenes from the persistent activities of terrorism in the north, especially as witnessed in Kaduna and Yobe in the past one week.
While praying for peace to return to the area, a team including officials from the state’s ministry of Education had already been dispatched to Kaduna state with a mandate to bring back home safely students of Bayelsa origin from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.