The House of Representatives, on Thursday, called on the Federal Government to deploy urgent security measures to halt the increasing suicide attacks on the University of Maiduguri.
It said such a step would avert the imminent closure of the institution owing to attacks by Boko Haram insurgents.
The House also said beefing up security around the institution, including building a perimeter fence, would reduce the loss of lives and the number of academics leaving “one of Nigeria’s foremost second-generation universities.”
The House specifically asked security agencies, particularly the military, the police and the Department of State Services, to “submit a comprehensive plan of action to maintain constant security of the university.”
Lawmakers poured out their pains as they debated a motion on the ‘need to avert the imminent closure of the University of Maiduguri due to rising insecurity occasioned by the spate of suicide bomb attacks.’
The motion was co-sponsored by a member from Borno State, Mr. Mohammed Monguno, and 15 others.
According to the members, the government will be aiding Boko Haram to achieve its aim by allowing the university to shut down.
Members noted that ‘Boko Haram’ meant ‘western education is forbidden, evil’, a meaning that would be accomplished by allowing the university to shut down.
“Security must be beefed up and every measure should be taken to keep this university running.
“If we allow UNIMAID to be closed down, then the insurgents will celebrate it as victory for their cause. This cannot happen,” Monguno told the House.
Aside the loss of Prof. Aliyu Mani and two students of the university in the January 16, 2017 suicide attacks on the institution, Monguno recalled that UNIMAID had been hit by five other strikes between January and June 25.
In all, he said “19 students and members of staff” had died since January this year.
Monguno added, “The House is aware that over 70 professors, several students and members of staff left the university at the height of the insecurity on the campus for other universities within and outside the country out of fear.”
Another member, Mr. Mohammed Sani-Abdu, drew the attention of the House to the impact of Boko Haram attacks on the institution by using the current ranking of universities by the National Universities Commission.
He said, “Mr. Speaker, from number six, seven position in the NUC ranking of universities, UNIMAID is now number 47 in the latest ranking.
“This tells us the seriousness of the situation we have on our hands.
“Many visiting professors from across the globe were using UNIMAID as the hub for research. But, we can all see what Boko Haram has done today.”
Speaking along the same line, the Chairman, House Committee on Rules/Business, Mr. Orker Jev, noted that the insurgents would simply target another university if they succeeded in shutting UNIMAID down.
Members passed the motion in a unanimous voice vote at the session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.