The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah has raised concerns over persistent efforts by bandits to take over the institution’s land, The Whistler reports.
Na’Allah, said that the bandits have been erecting illegal structures within the premises of the federal university and attempts made to stop or recover the land occupied by them had resulted in attacks.
He disclosed this on Tuesday while receiving the Director, Department of Development Control of the Federal Capital Territory, Murkta Galadima, at the university.
The vice chancellor said that the worsening situation had put fear in staff residing within the premises of the university as the bandits had attacked students on several occasions.
He calls for assistance from the FCT minister, while noting that the matter was preventing the management from carrying out developmental projects withing the university.
He said, “The truth is that this great University of ours is in trouble right now. I say this because we have all sorts of people who are living on the campus, who are using the land without respect for the environment. It is worse now, because bandits are coming in and taking over land both within staff residences and outside.
“Our students are being attacked; we are living in fear of the bandits. Some of the indigenes give land to these bandits without really knowing them, some don’t even ask for permission they just take over. I can tell you that on many occasions, we have had clashes.
“They are called non state actors. If we fail to act the future will never forgive us, this is serious and dangerous and that is why we are appealing to the Minister of FCT, Mallam Muhammad Bello, to assist us. We need FCT to work with us to the very end to get this campus safe,” he said.
Na’Allah said the bandits were fond of demanding money from the university’s management whenever it wanted to put its land to use.
“Whenever we want to construct any structure, they attack us and many times we had to negotiate with them sometimes, they collect money from the University just to use the land of the university. I am tired of negotiating with bandits,” he said.
The vice chancellor also thanked the federal government for approving N400 million for fencing of the institution’s premises. The said the project would commence between now and December.
In his remark, Galadima recommended that due process should be followed in removing the illegal structures erected by the bandits.
“The rate of squatting, to encroachment and invasion so all these things are beyond this office, it has to be done with FCT administration. We shall meet with the university, village Chiefs, Area Council Secretariat and tell them these are the challenges. Resettlement will also come in. We have already started the process. The next line is to come up with action plan.
“What we will do first is to sensitize these villages and map out strategies of the date and time to remove the structures,” he said.
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