Secretary to Gombe Government Government (SSG), Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi has opined that managing University the affairs of the University of Maiduguri in the face of widespread and spontaneous terrorist’s attacks remained his most challenging experience in life.
Delivering a paper titled, ‘University Management in an Insurgency ridden environment, experiences of the University of Maiduguri during the 2014 – 2019 Boko Haram uprising’, at the maiden Public Lecture of the Federal University of Kashere, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi also said that the experience was traumatizing and mind-boggling to both Management, Lecturers, Students and the host Community.
Ibrahim Njodi who was the Vice-Chancellor of the University at the time recalled that the crises created serious challenges in which academic, social and commercial activities and development were almost totally arrested due to the absence of peace.
He also noted that the colossal negative impact of the Insurgency activities on the North East Sub-region compelled the University Management under his watch to evolve new policies, strategies and deploying drastic measures to ensure that the institution operates and functions effectively.
The former Vice-Chancellor revealed that all Governing Council functions were held in Abuja, as the Senate resolved to keep the University open and functioning was seen as a decision to be suicidal.
The SSG further noted that in a war situation such as the Boko Haram terrorism, some unusually painful and drastic measures needed to be taken to serve lives and property more so as the terrorist employ different tactics to course harm including death on innocent people.
He maintained that as Vice-Chancellor and with wide consultations with the Security Committee of the University, he directed the closure of major and pedestrians entry gates into the University except one.
Professor Njodi also informed the emotionally packed audience that his role as the Vice-Chancellor (Commander in Chief) was to Coordinate, analyse, review and restrategize all security arrangements on a daily basis as his only preoccupation was to ensure the safety of Staff and Students thereby allowing for smooth academic operations.
Abubakar Njodi, however, recollected that the situation became so dire, confusing and traumatizing to a point that, the management requested the presence of conventional security personnel in addition to the University internal security network of University.
It is in this regard, the former VC said that Soldiers, policemen, the DSS and the Nigerian Air force numbering over three hundred were brought in to help patrol and man the nine kilometres radius perimeter fence of the institution.
He explained that Borno State being the epic centre of Boko Haram Insurgency, the University of Maiduguri Campus experience its share of devastating incidents of Suicide bombings intended to instil fear to force the University to close leading to loss of a Professor, academic, none academic staff and students totalling nine.
In a remark, the chairman of the Public Lecture who doubles as the Vice-Chancellor Federal University of Kashere, Professor Umar Alhaji Pate Commended the Guest lecturer Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi for accepting to share his experience with the public assuring that the Paper presented will be published to give room for further research into the quantum information provided.
Professor Pate said the University’s quest to promote peaceful Coexistence in the installation and its host Community Gombe State, a Campus Radio and Peace and Conflict resolution Study Centre will soon be established as contained in a statement by Joshua Danmalam, Information officer SSG’S Office.
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