The Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Prof Aliyu Shugaba, has said the institution resolved against being closed in the face of the Boko Haram insurgency to avoid its students falling into the hands of terrorists.
The VC spoke during a courtesy visit to the headquarters of Media Trust Ltd in Abuja.
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He was accompanied by a professor of Mass Communication in the university, Danjuma Gambo.
According to him, there are over 75,000 students in the institution with 40,000 studying at undergraduate level.
He explained that the major routes leading out of the city, such as Bama to Maiduguri, Maiduguri to Gamboru-Ngala and Maiduguri to Monguno were overtaken by the insurgents at the peak of the war with only Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano road as the only one open.
Shugaba said, “So, with that spirit, we resolved not to close the university. And we agreed that if the vice-chancellor is killed, somebody succeeds him, and if that person is killed, another person succeeds him. So, we took that resolve at the Senate meeting.
“Besides, if we agree to close the university, they have won. Apart from that, if you close the university, when then are you going to open it?
“And as a vice-chancellor, I can say okay, I have had a meeting with my senators and we have closed the university. But the opening would not be me determining that. So, we looked at all of these things, and we said no, let us just forge on, if they want to kill all of us, let them kill us. But it would be said that we died in active service, doing what we know how to do best.”
The delegation also commended Media Trust Ltd, publisher of Daily Trust titles for the good coverage of the school throughout the crises.
“It is no longer news that Media Trust Ltd parades the best journalists in this country. We read your reporting and all of the things you report, and what is called balanced reporting is what we have always observed. And I think the University of Maiduguri would always want to be associated with this kind of media house,” he said.
Responding, the Managing Director and acting Chief Executive Officer of Media Trust Ltd, Malam Nura Daura, said the company’s doors were always open for their best graduating students to be employed in line with the company’s policy.
He said the company was sponsoring about 30 female medical students in the North in UniMaid, Universities of Ilorin and Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto for five years to promote female education.
“From next year, we will include those studying nursing as our own way of helping our region in advancing the course of humanity,” he said.