by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
A viral video had gone round, showing how security personnel of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) cracked down and arrested 38 students of the institution, who protested over alleged “fees hike” and “bad living conditions” at the University.
Angered by the university students, hundreds of them had on Monday gathered in a peaceful protest but met with stiff resistance from the security agents that were drafted to foil the protest.
The security personnel ruthlessly suppressed the students through the use of excessive force. Many of the female students, who scampered for safety, were nevertheless wounded in the protest, while others where mercilessly beaten with sticks by the operatives.
At least, 18 of the protesting students were arrested and detained at the security facility in the University where they were kept in detiorating conditions until Tuesday morning.
On Oct. 5, the Security Personnel stormed another female hostel where they arrested 20 more female students. Some of the students were heard in the video as saying” “But the girl did not do anything; they should have allowed her to wear her cloths.”
Those, who were identified to have participated in the protest, were forcefully evicted out of their hostels with their cloths thrown out of the hostels premises, while their identification cards were seized by the angry security, who acted on the directive of the management.
An eyewitness, who was angered by the action of the security personnel, said “Wallahi, what I witnessed yesterday was very painful; the way securities are beating our female colleagues with sticks, as if they are donkeys.”
The protesting students and their parents decried that, “Instead of the University Governing Board to adequately address the concerns raised by the students, who were protesting as parts of their rights, they sent their lawless officers to abuse our children.”
The parents urged the UNIMAID management to urgently carry out fair and transparent investigations and hold accountable security forces, which has used excessive force against protesters and otherwise abused their authority.
Responding, Dean of Students, Prof A.M. Gimba, had earlier warned that the University Management “will deal decisively with anybody, who tries to breach the peace on campus.”
Gimba, who gave the warning in a statement released by the university on Tuesday, said that the university will not tolerate any unwanton behavior by students or intruders, who are not students but whose intention is to destabilize the activities of the university, especially considering that serious-minded students are busy with their lectures in preparation for end-of-semester examinations.
“Consequent upon this, efforts has already been put in place to address issues raised, especially those on security and power supply.
“Regarding those suspended from the hostel, they will return as soon as investigation is concluded. Students are, therefore, advised to be of good behavior and avoid any act that may lead to creating chaos on the campus,” Gimba stated.
On Oct. 6, the 38 students whose identification cards were seized were asked to report to the security office for further investigation.