Nigerian University Expels Students For Protesting Worsening Insecurity
The Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, has expelled four students and reportedly restricted others from accessing its registration portal for protesting against insecurity two months ago.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that 34 students were invited to face a disciplinary committee before they left for semester holiday for partaking in the protest.
Three of the students who were questioned said they had been handed letters of expulsion while others are waiting to receive their expulsion letters from the school’s management. Most of the indicted students are in 300 or 400 levels.
During the protest, some of the students said they were tired of being abducted by terrorists.
Zamfara, like several other states in the North-west, faces more than a decade long terrorist insurrection.
The terrorists locally referred to as bandits attack rural communities, travellers and educational institutions.
Many students have been abducted within the period.
Three of the students – Rejoice Guga, Georgina Bulus and Abdulsalam Onimisi, said they have collected their expulsion letters.
“For now, four of us have collected their expulsion letters from the management; other students are not back from semester holiday,” Ms Guga said.
“The University Management at its 84 emergency meeting held on 3 August, 2023 considered the report of the committee of inquiry into students demonstration on the 17, June 2023 as well as the attempted demonstration to disrupt students from writing the second semester examinations 2021/2022 of Monday 19 June 2023. The committee has found you guilty of violating the rules of demonstration as contained in Section A, item xxv, page 60 and Section H, item vii page 63 of the students handbook.
“The committee has therefore recommended that you be expelled from the university for organising and participating in the two protests….,” a part of the expulsion letter sent to Ms Guga said.
Ms Guga, a 400 level student of Plant Science and Biotechnology, said the students didn’t attack any building neither did they stop fellow students from gaining access into or out of the university during their protest.
One of the students who participated in the protests, who asked not to be named, said he would not bother going to the school to collect his expulsion letter.
He said it was unfair for the Vice Chancellor to take such a decision because he addressed them during the demonstration.
“After the protest that happened following the abduction of our fellow students, a committee asked to see us a week after examinations. They kept bringing out lists of those they wanted to see in the school. We were like 30.
“Before you enter the room (office), they would collect your phone and go through your photos and delete the pictures of the protesters,” a female student, who asked for anonymity told PREMIUM TIMES in one of a series of WhatsApp voice notes.
In one of the voice notes, the student said she felt “terrible” facing members of the committee because they asked questions that “tried to make me feel guilty to protest.”
Though she is yet to resume, she said she knows the fate awaiting her because she could no longer access the school’s online portal.
When contacted, the university spokesperson, Umar Usman, said he was unaware of the expulsion of the students.
He asked for time to get details of the incident from the school’s management.
But when this reporter told him that he had copies of the expulsion letters, and the list of 34 students invited for questioning, Mr Usman said what was in the dismissal letter should be used as the reason for expulsion.
“Since you said you’ve seen the dismissal letter and a reason was given to the decision, I think there is nothing for me to add. That’s the stand of the University,” Mr Usman said via phone.