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How Burglars Raided Bauchi Varsity Hostels Amid ASUU 8-months Strike

Cursory: While the recently suspended strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) lingered for eight months, burglars defied the weak security structure and robbed students of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi of their belongings.

The suspended eight-month ASUU strike has not only inflicted a loss of academic time on students of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi (ATBU) but also on their properties in the period that the industrial action lingered.The students of the citadel of learning opted to leave behind their belonging at the Gubi and Yelwa campuses of the university out of their belief in the security system.

Little did they know that the strike will eventually stay on for eight months, secondly, their belongings are not safe as they thought because most of the students’ rooms across the two campuses were invaded by thieves.

While no arrest was made thus far, some students whose clothes were stolen, for instance, alleged that they have identified stolen clothes on some security personnel working at the security unit of the university.

“I have seen some of my stolen clothes on one security of this university. We did not trust the security here because we suspected some of them to be culpable for gross theft meted out on our hostels when went on strike.

“I was hesitant to take belongings home when the strike started because the expectations then were that the strike will not last long,” said a final-year student of the Department of Information Technology who speak to LEADERSHIP Sunday on condition of anonymity.

On discovering that all he left in his locker were carted away after resuming school at a time when the economy bites harder, he said, he was completely devastated.

“I don’t know that my locker was emptied until after I resumed. I had no plan to shop for either food items or other kinds of stuff I needed for the school having left enough items here at the commencement of the strike.

“My dilemma is that I don’t have money to buy all those things again. That means I have to start seeking funds to replace the lost items,” he said.

Muhammad Nurudeen Almustapha, who lives in hall four Block-D Room D-59 male hostels ATBU Yelwa campus, said their room was not only emptied but also vandalised.

“Students’ mattresses, buckets, and other cooking materials were stolen, hence leaving us with nothing to sleep or take our bath. Even our cooking utensils were stolen,” he said.He said they are at the moment, seeking help from their parents and guidance to replace the stolen items.

“We are confused with the extent of this devastation. We cannot believe what we saw in our hostel when the university reopened.“Some students do not have beds because their mattresses were stolen. Some of us return home to buy mattresses.

“No one will think that the rooms were ransacked because the locks on our doors remain intact but if you open it, you will meet an eyesore,” he said.

Amina Ibrahim who resides at the female hostel of the Gubi campus of the university faulted the default nature of the locks to the rooms which according to her can be opened with any key.

To her, the thieves must have inside knowledge of how bad the locks were and took advantage of the absence of the students over the strike period to burgle the rooms without being noticed.She lost properties worth over N50, 000 having shopped for food items just a few hours before ASUU declared the strike.Speaking to LEADERSHIP Sunday the dean of Students Affairs of the University, Prof Usman Sarki Abdullahi, blamed the reported burglary incidents recorded during the strike on the students affected.

The Dean said a circular was issued warning all students in the hostels of the university to pack all their belongings home before the warning strike, but they refused to heed the warning, thus paying the ultimate price for their failure to comply.

However, Prof Sarki conceded to the culpability of the security personnel ATBU employed to secure its community after one female security personnel was arrested with foodstuffs allegedly belonging to students.

“Both academic and non-academic staff were on strike so, our security capacity is very very low because the security men apart from being inadequate, cannot cover the entire university.

“Remember we have four campuses – Gubi campus, Yelwa campus, our staff quarters at Kari estate along Maiduguri road, and University Resource Center at Tafawa Balewa but our security men are not adequate to do that,” he said.

The Dean explained that the university’s property such as fans, air conditioners, and some electrical appliances were stolen as well.

“The university loss a huge sum of money to the thieves,” he added.Prof Sarki said the University is working to regulate and sanitize the security architecture of the university to guarantee the safety of the lives and property of both the university and its students.

Read Also: Thieves Break Into BUK Female Hostel, Steal 17 Phones


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