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Opinion

Aftermath Of COVID-19 & ASUU Strike: UniJos Students Count Losses

Broken doors, empty wardrobes with dust covering kitchen utensils scattered on the floor, this was the state I met in my friend’s room in. This was the state of the room despite locking the room following the directive by the University management asking all students on campus to vacate on or before 22nd March 2020.

The condition of the room I met was an eyesore and it was indeed entirely the opposite of what he left. “Your room was burgled, I can’t find your bed, carpet, clothes, foodstuffs…” I could hear the echo of my voice as I reported the incidence to him over the phone. 

Since he was travelling to Jos from Benue State, he asked me to check if his room was safe. His worries were based on the information that some students’ hostels was burgled, as many students took to their class WhatsApp Groups to share how their rooms were burgled. Therefore, he wanted to be sure if his room was not one of those affected. 

Sixtus (not real name) is a 300 Level of the Faculty of Environmental Science. Prior to the closure of schools in 2020, he paid for accommodation and was allocated to Block A of the Naraguta Hostel, University of Jos. Like many other students, his decision to stay on campus was because of security, access to public utilities and proximity to his Faculty. However, with this incident, it seems that one of the reasons that inspired him to stay on campus was defeated. 

It is important to note that, before any student can get accommodation on campus, he or she must have paid school fees (45,000 Naira), in the fee breakdown, each student pays 500 Naira for campus security. Could it be that the powers that burgled these rooms were beyond the University’s Security Division to control or it was just their act of negligence?

This particular room I visited is about 100 meters away from the Naraguta Hostel security post. Since the doors were removed completely, one would assume that the echo of a door being removed would have at least reached the security post. 

It is unfortunate, that no official comments have been made by the Security Division, Directorate of Student Affairs, the Students Union Government or the University management regarding this incident that took place across the 5 hostels (Naraguta, Abuja, Village, Zion and New General Hostels) in the University. 

Sixtus, like many other students that were affected by this ordeal, do not have any option than to buy almost all of their belongings again. This, alone, has taken away the smile that was on the face of these students after the University announced the reopening of schools, after the pandemic that largely affected the economy. How can some of these students afford to replace these belongings? 

Therefore, the following questions are begging for answers:

  1. Who broke into the University of Jos’ hostels? 

  2. Who stole the belongings of students? 

  3. How did they get into the hostels? 

  4. Where were the University’s security personnel in the midst of these?

Cogent answers are needed so as to avoid a reoccurrence.

This opinion story has been published on CAMPUS REPORTER with very minimal editing to preserve the original voice of the author. CAMPUS REPORTER does not bear any responsibility for the contents of this story, all views belong to the author.

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