In the eleven years of Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State, many innocent lives were killed, injured, sent out of homes and properties worth billions of Naira destroyed. Despite all these, the University of Maiduguri never shut down on a single day as students only go home during holidays and nationwide strike.
On several occasions, university residents sleep with one eye open, lecturers and students have classes haphazardly in fear of Boko Haram attack as they can easily perpetrate their demonic attacks at any moment of their choice.
On the 15th of January, 2017, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the university’s mosque killing a professor and a 12-year-old child during “Ishat” prayer; they also kidnapped three lecturers on the 17th July of the same year.
Quite a number of students were kidnapped by the sect and are yet to regain their freedom. But the important part is, with all the killings, threat, and kidnappings, neither the students nor the university’s staff want the university to be closed for one day.
Based on this, the University of Maiduguri needs and deserves urgent and special intervention from the federal government, non-govermental organizations, among others to at least give the university special grants to fill existing vacancies for teachers, construct additional fences to protect the school and introduce more courses especially on security.
The university needs more infrastructures; the school’s hostel, lecture halls, water and roads networks are nearly moribund, as such, needs to be rehabilitated because the university has been managing them for so long.
Finally, we are all witnesses to the fact that Boko Haram and other insecurity issues are doing more harm to the university. On this, I commend the effort of the university management in giving their best to their students despite the huge challenges, and also call on the government to critically look at the issues raised and bring succour to the university.
Esther Gabriel, Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri