Before Thursday the 24th of July 2021, all the occupants of room 40, Block B of Bakassi hall of residence in Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, lived happily.
Unfortunately, around 10 am on Thursday the 24th of July, while students were out of the hostel, a fire engulfed the room, rendering all its occupants without shelter and destroying almost all their properties.
According to the victims, the faulty electric sockets that caused the outbreak had been reported to the right authorities but were not attended to until the escalation of the fire. This left them stranded as the little help rendered to them all by the student leaders were not enough to return them to normalcy.
Adeniji Adeoluwa, a 200 level student of Statistics, had lost his two laptops to the fire outbreak that engulfed their room two weeks ago. His clothes and credentials were not spared in the inferno.
“They took us to the other rooms but those occupants denied us the privilege, so we all decided to clean the kitchen and we packed in all the beds given to 8 of us by the Students’ Union. That’s where we now manage.
“Two buckets were given to us by the Students’ Union, one of the buckets is leaking already and cannot even be used,” he said.
Although the student leaders and the school management have attempted to help these victims, their general situation remains almost the same after the incident. These students, in their tears of agony, pleaded for the school’s intervention in retrieving their burnt credentials.
“[As] I said, we now live in the kitchen where there’s no light, fan, or socket. We charge in the other rooms, at our own risk. I am totally stranded. I lost my two laptops to the fire [as well as] all my clothes. I don’t even have clothes to wear again,” Adeoluwa cried.
Students’ Union Reacts
While speaking with the Students’ Union Caretaker Committee Chairman, Muhammad Shamsudeen Umar, he said that they (the union) have liaised with the school management in providing some needed materials for the affected students.
“Having heard about their plight, we liaised with the school management and we’ve provided them with sleeping beds and buckets.
“We also pleaded to the school management to help us find something to do [for] those that lost their credentials, especially this exam time, trying to retrieve those things would frustrate them as they also need to read for exams,” he said sympathetically.
“We Have Provided The Affected Students [With] Some Foodstuff” – Ameer MSSN
The immediate past President (Ameer) of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), UDUS, Mallam Fahad Tijjani, said that they have contributed to the betterment and relief of the affected students.
“In our little contribution towards relieving them of their burden, we have provided some foodstuff for them and we still look up to some other things to be delivered to them very soon,” the Ameer said.
Affected Students React
Adeniji Adeoluwa, after expressing his sadness about his lost property (especially two laptops and clothes), sought the management’s help.
“I beg of the school management to kindly remember us, consider and financially help us during this trying time, and we shall be grateful for their immense support,” he sobbed.
Like Adeniji Adeoluwa, the other affected students, after commending the efforts of their benefactors, still yearn for assistance as their situations remain almost the same after the terrible incident.
Abdullahi Selim, a 100 level student of Education and Economics, gave an account of his ordeal, explaining that he is frustrated by his current situation in the hostel after the fire outbreak that caused him to bid farewell to many of his belongings.
Feebly, Salim said: “We no longer live comfortably. The room we are in is nothing compared to a room, no light, no fan. We struggle before we are able to charge our phones.
“We anticipate any kind of help from the management, mostly [concerning] our credentials, clothes, laptops that got burnt, and others.”
Shittu Toyyib, a 200 level student of Agriculture, also cried out in agony over the situation.
“I am among the most affected victims, I lost almost all my property to the fire. My wear bags, containing all my clothes burnt beyond recognition and my credentials are nowhere to be found, including the school documents.
“I was denied access to write my GST examination because I couldn’t provide the school ID card. The security men refused to listen to my explanations until I went to the security unit and returned with a letter signed by the chief security officer.
“I would be glad if my school ID card, library card and the yellow borrower cards would be sorted out without any frustration again, those are the school credentials that were lost. I have already retrieved my National Passport with a sum of 500 Naira, at the NIN office in the school,” he explained.
“We Have Spoken With The Fire Service” – Dean, Students’ Affairs
The Dean of Students’ Affairs of the University, Professor Aminu Muhammad Mode, while speaking with Campus Reporter, said that when the plights of the students who cried out for the school management’s help reached him, he acted to provide solutions to some of their problems.
Prof. Mode said: “I felt so sorry for the boys when I and the Vice-Chancellor got to the scene. It wasn’t pleasant at all.
“However, after allocating another room for them and distributing beds for them to sleep on, we have spoken with the fire service centre to help us provide a letter that would indicate their names and the credentials burnt, and this would serve as strong backup for them to retrieve their lost documents.
“We all know that while dealing with cases of fire like this, it’s something that requires processes before it’s successfully done. So they should just be patient as we assure them that their backup letter from the fire service would be surely provided.”
Professor Aminu Muhammad Mode, also confirmed that the cause of the fire outbreak in the room has been dealt with and the electricity in the hostel has been fully restored.
He said: “You will see that they had light in the hostel on the following day, to avoid another case of such in the future, we have traced the cause of the problem to its root and we have restored everything to its normal place.”
“No COVID-19 Vaccination Card, No Work,” – Ondo MLCA
The Ondo State Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Segun Odusanya, has notified the…
Akeredolu Congratulates Ondo APC Chairman-Elect
The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (SAN) has congratulated the elected Chairman of the Ondo State Chapter of…