The Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria branch has said that attempts by the Kaduna State Government to take over part of the university land are an insult to the founder of the university, late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
The Union stated this during a press briefing on March 7, 2022, at its College of Agriculture and Animal Science (Mando), Kaduna, read by its Chairman, Haruna Mohammed Jibril.
The statement reads, “Sadly, we are here once again to update you on the encroachment on Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) lands covering 196.258 hectares situated at College of Agriculture and Animal Science (Mando) by Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Governor NaAhmed El-Rufai.
“His desperate attempt to take over the land is affront and insult to Sir Ahmadu Bello Sardauna’s indelible legacies in public education.
“This is quite despicable when one considers what Governor did to citizens of Kaduna State who built houses around Huduhuda College and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria,”
According to the statement titled, “A Call On Governor Nasiru Ahmed El-rufai To Respect the Rule Of Law,” the kaduna state government is playing double standards. “This action is a clear double standard and a mindset out to destroy without basis,” the group added.
Recalled that ASUU-ABU had on January 13, 2022, issued a release cautioning the Governor of Kaduna State to “desist from the callousness and unlawful takeover of the property belonging to ABU Zaria.”
According to the union, instead of abiding by the caution, the Governor went ahead to destroy the wall of the college and several trees some of which are more than fifty years old, using bulldozers of Kaduna State Urban Development Authority (KASUPDA) under the watchful eyes of over one hundred well-armed security personnel.
This was despite a subsisting Interim Court Order granted on the 18th of January 2022 by Justice K. Dabo of the Federal High Court, Zaria, restraining the Governor, the Attorney General, their servants, agents, and privies from further action.
The group said that in the face of the restraining injunction granted against the Governor of Kaduna State and his agents, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and his Attorney General in utter disregard to this order, directed KASUPDA to trespass and further cause devastation on the land.
“The Solicitors of University thereafter issued a letter to the Directors General KASUPDA and Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) 14th February 2022 where the Governor and his agents were warned to desist from further trespass and destruction of the land or else proceed with contempt proceedings against him and his ruthless
“In addition, the action of the Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Governor el-Rufa’i is at best sadistic and is in clear violation of Section 49 (1) and (2) of the Land Use ACT, Cap L5 LFN, 200 which exempts Federal Government lands from management and control of State Government.
ASUU-ABU said it was based on the foregoing, that it is calling on the authorities of Ahmadu Bello University to institute an action against the Government of Kaduna State for compensation on the destruction of the wall of the college, felling of trees, and distortion of the entire environment.
The union also reiterated its call on the Senate of Ahmadu Bello University to formally withdraw the degree certificates awarded Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai saying, “his many actions are in contravention of the requirements in character and learning deemed worthy of the Ahmadu Bello University degree award.”