Issues regarding the poor state, abject neglect and delapidation of students hostels at the nation’s premier university, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) is not new. But the ripple effect of the expose by Arise Television last week, more especially, the comments by Dr. Reuben Abati, writes EUCLID AGUNWA.
Although the University has put up a Public Relations stunt, attempting to puncture the claims regarding the state of the hostels, truth remains that facts are sacred, but opinion is free. It must be stated that a visit by anybody to the university will show an educational institution that is still facing the ugly effects of the Civil War as there are several abandoned projects, including the velodrome and stadium complex, near the Faculty of Agriculture.
Unlike its comparable federal University in other geo- political zones, UNN has been unfortunate not to have been gifted with the right calibre Vice-Chancellor with pedigree to pull the right cord to get the Federal Government accord it the deserved as a Premier University 8n the country and one of the first set of universities in the country or such VCs had little or no regard for infrastructural development which is why unlike comparable universities in the Northern or South western parts of the country, UNN has remained at best a glorified secondary school in terms of infrastructure. The poor public relations stunt attempted by the Dean of Students Affairs of the UNN by dishing out irreconcilable matters from what is visibly on ground proves how terrible the situation is.
And the fact that the Education Monister has not visited the university or made any public statement on the issue also affirms that it could be deliberate government policy.
The UNN management will not want to tell the world that it signed a 30 years PPP agreement with a key sponsor of some top management staff of the University for which students are expected to pay double of whatever official fee it would be for hostel accommodation in 2022, when the 10,000 hostel is expected to be completed. And no one would want to believe that the supervising ministry 9s not aware of this or that the Governing Council was sidetracked in the agreement.
The university management will equally not want to tell the world, since it is masquerading a “fantastic PR stunt” that it is collecting N5,000 from students for mackintosh before students who secured hostel accommodation in those decrepit are given matrass and pilow by the hostel porters.
They claim the mackintosh is to ward off bed bugs that have built an empire, feasting on the poor students, rather than snuff out life permanently of such bugs as well as snakes, reptiles and insects by fumigation. But, to them, N5,000 mackintosh is it. It is a shame that a lot of sordid things are happening in the university, not helped by apparent lack of interest by the present end past university administration.
The Students Union Government (SUG) have thus been exposed as either compromised or comprise of the puppets or lackeys of the administration. It should be pointed out that even students offered admission to the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, among some other courses at the university, do not know their fate (on graduation) because those courses have not been accredited by the NUC and the admission of the affected students are yet to be regularised by JAMB since they all were given temporary admission into other courses like anatomy, pathology, medical rehabilitation, etc.
This is inspite of the fact that the first set of students in those departments are expected to graduate at the end of this academic session. Next, the University will blame witches and wizards for the inability to do the needful.
The UNN management will equally not want people to know that it closed down the zoological garden at the Department of Zoology, for reasons only known to the University, leaving mouths agape as to how students in the department do their practicals.
Needless pointing at the structural design in some faculty buildings which has no proper ventilation and lighting at the staircases at the Nsukka campus of the University. Below teo stories published by The AUTHORITY in 2020 and reproduced are pointers to the fact that the problems in the university is not new, but rather degenerating, but it beggers question as to why the Federal Ministry of Education prerefs to pretend it is not aware of the problems faced at the University.
The minister, Adamu Adamu is aware of the rot at UNN, only the political will is lacking and seriously too.
Maybe a deliberate policy to smack down the quality of its graduates, known globally for their pedigree when UNN was driven along the path set by the founder, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1960. A cursory reading of just these two stories published since two years ago, lends credence to the analysis earlier stated.