The management of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) said it has shut down the university with immediate effect following a student protest on Monday over the killing of a final-year student by suspected gang of phone robbers, Vanguard Newspaper reports.

This was contained in a press statement signed and released on Monday by Hajia Fatima Abdullahi, the Deputy Registrar Academic of the institution.

The statement said that the Vice Chancellor had approved the closure of the university for an initial period of one week, with effect from Monday, December 4, to Sunday, December 10, 2023.

“Therefore, I am directed to request all undergraduate students on both campuses to vacate the university premises with immediate effect, as failure to comply may lead to appropriate sanctions by the constituted authority,” the statement reads.

It further directed the Dean of the Student Affairs Division and the Chief Security Officer to ensure strict compliance with the directive.

Also reacting, the Director, Information and Public Relations, Zailani Bappa, said the university was closed to avert the situation from deteriorating, saying that the Students Union Government (SUG) dissociated itself from the protest.

“The management always invites the SUG on every occasion to dialogue with them. On this occasion, when the students started demonstrating, the students union government was contacted by the management, but the students union government dissociated themselves from what their colleagues were doing.”

“They have lost (their) senses, I think, because even the management could not stop them from holding the protest, talk less of the student union government. I am sure that the police used tear gas to disperse the crowd to avoid a breakdown of the law. It is better for somebody to be teargassed than to allow him to injure or kill somebody,” he said.

The students were protesting the gruesome murder of their 500-level colleague, Joseph Obiaje Agabaidu, of the Geology department, at the Yelwa campus of the university after allegedly being stabbed to death by suspected armed robbers who tried to steal his phone.

The protesting students told Vanguard that they were expressing concern over the alleged failure of the government and school management to provide adequate security for students living off-campus.

Agabaidu, who is said to be the eldest of four children in his family hailing from Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, was returning to his lodge situated in Yelwan Tudu on that fateful Saturday before he was gruesomely murdered.

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