ATBU shut down over students’ protest

Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University

The management of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University’s Yelwa Campus in Bauchi has shut down the institution following protests by students over the fatal stabbing of Joseph Agabaidu, a final-year Geology student of the institution, during a robbery attempt.

In a circular obtained by The Telegraph, and signed by the Deputy Registrar (Academic), Haj. Fatima Inuwa Abdullahi, the management approved the closure of the university for an ‘initial period of one week with effect from Monday, December 4, to Sunday, December 10.

According to the circular, the objective is to prevent a breakdown of law and order while alleging that the protest was hijacked by hoodlums.

The circular partly reads: “As you may recall, there was an alleged murder of Joseph Aga Baidu, a 500-level student of Applied Geology recently at Yelwa Kagadama, which made some miscreants embark on protests around Yelwa Campus, consequently disrupting the peace.

“In view of the above, the Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of the Senate, has approved the closure of the university for an initial period of one week with effect from Monday 4th to Sunday 10th December, 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 sanction by the constituted authority.”

The Telegraph reports that tension erupted on Monday at the university as students protesting the tragedy were teargassed by operatives of the Bauchi Police Command.

The robbery incident reportedly occurred on Saturday night when the 500-level Geology student who was said to be returning to his lodge situated around the Yelwan Tudu market in the Yelwa area, a suburb of the Bauchi metropolis, was attacked at about 7 pm.

The victim reportedly died from his injuries.

Consequently, the planned protest embarked on by the students was disrupted by the police, who stationed their armoured personnel carrier opposite the entrance of the institution on Monday.

The situation escalated as students closed the gate, disrupting campus activities, while attempts to pacify them were met with solidarity songs.