Operatives of the Nigerian soldiers numbering about five, have caused a stir in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi
The said soldiers, on Monday night allegedly assaulted the chairman of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, branch, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa, and harassed one of the university’s security personnel.
It was learnt that the soldiers, who were in two vehicles, wanted to enter the university but were prevented by one of the school’s security personnel manning the main gate because their vehicles had tinted glasses.
Despite this, the soldiers were said to have forced their way into the university premises but the lone security man at the gate remained adamant, leading to his harassment by the soldiers.
It was learnt that it was while harassing the security man that Inuwa arrived at the scene and enquired about what happened, only for the soldiers to attack him. The situation almost degenerated into a major crisis as students of the institution, on learning about the harassment of the ASUU chairman, demanded that the soldiers be handed over to them to be “disciplined”.
The students locked the two gates leading to the institution and threw stones and other objects at the Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla the soldiers drove and parked by the barricade of the exit gate. They eventually destroyed the windscreens and the glasses, the lights and deflated the tyres of the two vehicles.
Narrating what happened to journalists, Inuwa explained that he was on his way out of the school when he saw the soldiers harassing the security man on duty at the gate and he stopped to know what was happening. According to him, when he approached the soldiers and asked what was happening, they asked who he was and one of then abused him, saying he was stupid and started shoving him and eventually slapped him three times.
“Just this (Monday) night, some few minutes after 8 o’clock, I was going out of the university and I saw a convoy of two vehicles, they were busy arguing and harassing the security man on duty. “At that time, most of the security men were praying in a mosque by the gate. So I had to stop because it is my responsibility as the chairman of the Union.
“And I asked our security man in Hausa what was happening. The next thing, these guys in these two vehicles started asking me arrogantly ‘who are you?’ And I told them ‘no, I want to know what happened’. One of them said, ‘you’re very stupid! Do you know who we are? You’re very stupid!’
“I told them that this is a university and we have our rules and the next thing, they started shoving me, then one of them went to the extreme and slapped me three consecutive times. “I called their attention that what they have done is wrong and I told them they would regret it. You can even see the prints of the slaps on my face,” Inuwa explained.
He added that, “they said again that I was stupid because I was still talking. They were hitting me that I should keep quiet. It was at that point that the number of security men increased, so we instructed them to block the gate because we must know their identity.
“They are claiming that they are military guys but to give us their details is now a problem. They were on mufti and they forced their way into the university. Our Union is now aware of the incident and we need their details to write to let the Chief of Army Staff know about it.”
The ASUU chairman lamented that what the soldiers did was to break the institution’s protocol, saying that no one could break the military protocols like the soldiers did to the university. He added that senior army officers who later arrived at the scene sought to take the five soldiers away to handle the matter in their own ways. Also speaking with journalists, the National Internal Auditor of ASUU, Adamu Babayo, said he was at home when he was informed that some soldiers came to the school and slapped the union branch chairman.
He said the school’s security man was right to have prevented the soldiers from entering the institution as it has its rule of banning vehicles with tinted glasses from entering its campus.
According to him, “when I got to the entrance gate, I inquired about what was going on. While the security man there alone was trying to tell them that they cannot go in, they were forcing their way into the campus.
“Luckily, the ASUU chairman was going out and he demanded to know what was going on. Then these military boys harassed the chairman to the extend that they even slapped him. “Our students came at the gate trying to lynch the military boys. So the chairman said they should lock the gate, so that they don’t go out and the students will lynch them.”