The management of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, ATBU has introduced an oath form compelling students not to partake in any form of protest.
Our reporter learned that the school management’s decision was influenced by a recent student protest triggered by the killing of Joseph Agabaidu, a fifth-year Geology student.
Joseph, who hails from Ankpa Local Government Area in Kogi State but resides in Benue State, was the eldest among his four siblings studying at the ATBU, Bauchi.
He was fatally stabbed on December 2, 2023, while attempting to recover his girlfriend’s bag from assailants who had previously stolen it.
The tragic incident occurred near Yelwan Tudu market in the Yelwa area, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis, around 7:00 pm on a Saturday.
Dailypost recalls the management of the school, had also in a bid to avoid any escalation of the incident or other unforeseen circumstances, immediately shut down the school on December 3, 2023, for an initial one week but later extended the resumption date until January 7, 2024.
A specimen copy of the form obtained by DailyPost on Monday showed that it emanated from the Academic Division in the office of the Registrar of the school with reference number: ATBU/REG/ADM/24 and dated December 21, 2023.
The form titled “OATH OF GOOD CHARACTER AND COMPLIANCE” as stated in one of the paragraphs reads that “I further undertake not to participate in any form of demonstration or protest on any of the University Campuses”
Dailypost gathered that the students are individually expected to sign the form and submit to the management upon resumption.
Individual students are also to promise “not to be involved in the use of illicit drugs as stated in the Students’ Handbook.
“That, I shall also make available to the University, a medical report of the toxicology test on my resumption on 8th January, 2024.
“That I promise to be of good character and ready to comply with the laid down rules and regulations guiding the conduct of students of the university,” it added
The form also indicated that the students are to append their signature to other sections of the form which stated that: “If, in any way, I am found going against any of the above-mentioned paragraphs, I will be responsible for the appropriate sanction to be meted on me by the University Management.”
The students are equally required to write their: name, registration number, level, department, faculty, GSM number, signature and date, name, GSM number, signature and date of their parents or guardian, while the Head of Department is also to write his name and signature with date.
However, when contacted, ATBU’s Director of Information, Zailani Bappa said the school only banned unauthorised protests.
“The management is only against unauthorised protest because no law allows students to participate in any protest without the permission of the police” he said.