The Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, on Friday disagreed with the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, over the closure of the institution as a result of frequent suicide attacks which have claimed many lives.
While the education minister was of the view that the closure of the institution would prevent further loss of lives and property, the leadership of the varsity in refusal said the closure would be sending a signal to the international community that Boko Haram is winning the war on terrorism in Africa’s most populous nation.
Daily Trust reports that Adamu, in company of the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Rashid and the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Professor Isahaq Oloyede, was in Maiduguri to condole with the institution over the death of five members of its staff and the continued disappearance of four others among the oil exploration team who were recently attacked by insurgents.
“We thought the danger is too great,” Adamu said, adding that “I would have told you to stay, but security is not in my hands, closing it is just being realistic and it doesn’t mean succumbing to Boko Haram and sending the signal that they have succeeded.”
Speaking with the senate and management of the institution, the minister then called for opinion votes over the issue, but to his biggest astonishment, none of the members of the senate and management responded, following which the minister advised them to consider his opinion.
However, when newsmen asked him while he was being conducted round the university’s borders whether the federal government was planning to close down the university, he replied repeatedly: “No plan.”
Njodi also lauded the resilience displayed by the university’s Senate, saying: “These individuals deserve special recognition, they deserve the National Merit Award for keeping the university intact throughout its travails.”
Also responding to the resilence conduct of the Senate, the minister said, “We marvel at the way you (the management and students of the university) stay here, I commend the lecturers and students for staying in the university, it shows their seriousness, and we are aware of this.”
He said the federal government would come up with a special intervention, beginning with the perimeter fencing of the remaining 23 kilometers of its landmass.