Kidnapping: UniAbuja mounts 24-hr patrol, deploys hunters, vigilantes



By Rosemary Ogbonnaya

Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of University of Abuja Governing Council, Modibbo Mohammed, has disclosed that the varsity has mounted 24-hour security patrol not only within the campus but within the perimeters of the university to prevent a repeat of the recent kidnapping that occurred at the its staff quarter.

Mohammed who stated this while speaking to Journalists in Abuja at the side of a retreat organised by the University Council for Principal Officers, Deans, Directors and the university Based Unions at the weekend, said they will do anything humanly possible to ensure that such does not repeat itself.

He also said that the university employed additional hunters, vigilantes to patrol in areas that are not fenced because it is a very vast land,” he said.

On the state of the staff quarters which was reported to be in a deplorable state, he said, “Our staff housing is below standard. I am ashamed of the sort of accommodation our staff are living in.

“The council has met the minister of FCT and he has assured us to do something soon. And a delegation will soon go to FERMA to come in and give the university special consideration especially the within the mini campus and the residential areas.

“We will definitely partner with government agencies, we will attract funding and invite investors and discuss with government to build befitting houses that befits a university lecturer status.

Speaking on the theme of the retreat, “Navigating Myriad of Challenges in Managing Universities in Today’s World,” he said they all have a role in repositioning the university by thinking out of the box to surmount the never ending challenges they struggle to carry out their duties.

The pro-chancellor identified problem of funding and staff attitude to work among reasons for organising the retreat, adding that the retreat will hopefully chart a new course for the varsity.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah said many factors exist that are fighting the university and that many staff do not do their duties but collect public salary, “they do not come to work on time, some do not teach while others spend just an hour and leave.”

“If we must attain the greatness and if we are ready to serve Nigeria truthfully speaking, we must put all these things aside, and stop rumours and allegations. If we are ready to move forward we must jettison the past,” he said.

On his part the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Education, Arch Sonny Echono said the retreat was put together to explain the separation of powers and roles to avoid conflicts in the university.

He said retreat has proven to be useful and improved governing of universities.

Echono noted that Nigerian universities are faced with various contemporary challenges of sustainable funding, autonomy, industrial harmony, institutional ranking, compliance with status regulations and enhanced governance and administration.

He opined that to address and mitigate these challenges, the universities will need to proactive and continue to come up with appropriate responses particularly in this knowledge driven era.

“A veritable tool in this regard is regular interface between members of councils and principal officers and other stakeholders involved in management of university,” he said.

On issue of university sustainable funding, he said: “I am of the very strong view that as long as we depend on government budgeting to run university systems, given inadequate priority given to the education sector coupled with other external factors and dwindling resources, expectation from the budgets will continue to a challenge.”

He said funding should be determined based on cost in a particular course of study and what it takes to produce a student over the course of duration of that programme and every stakeholder should partake in it.

“If our government is interested in saying no tuition, from such calculation you will be able to know what constitutes a component of tuition in fees,” he said.