My experience as an off-campus student while in ABU Zaria during the 1980s.

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By Alhaji Adamu Abubakar

For some time during our time in ABU in the 1980s, Students going to Part 2 or rather in Part 2 were expected to secure accommodation outside the University premises due to a shortage of Student accommodation.

The idea behind choosing Part 2 Students to seek outside accommodation was that in Part 2 one is believed to have known the University environment, hence can fit inadequately outside the Campus.

My experience as an off-campus student while in ABU Zaria during the 1980s

Then virtually, all Parts 1 and 3 Students are under normal circumstances to be in the University Hostels Why? Because in Part 1 one is new to the environment and as JJC cannot stay outside the Campus, while in Part 3 all Students are expected to be in the Hostels to read and prepare well for their final year exams.

I think these have been the philosophy behind such arrangements by the University May the Almighty Allah continue to bless and guide the University Authority who from nowhere trained and guide me to become who and what I am today.

In my case between 1982 to 1983 when we were in Part 2, I have to secure accommodation in Samaru Village a small distance away from the North Gate. It uses to be a trackable distance of about 10 minutes to the University.

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Then we decided to rent a complete local House that accommodates about five of us. What we need then was to buy the Students’ size type of Mattress which we slept on.

Then there was no provision for Table or Chair as we do stay behind in the Campus to read before coming back to sleep. But in situations where one must have to read at home, he or she will have to do it on top of the Mattress and if care is not taken will end up in deep sleep.

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As I said, ours was a complete House we rented as such we had full liberty in the House. That is one can come at any given time without questions or molestations by Landlord or Tenants.

For others that shared. their Compounds with other Tenants and or Landlords, their stories were slightly different. I could remember one of our Colleagues that rented a Room facing the outside with all married Men inside the Compound who had to come down to the Campus Hostel every day to take his bath and ease himself.

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The Window to his Room was right inside the main Compound and if by mistake he opens it before you know someone from the main Compound will bang and close it, an indication that he has oversteps his boundaries.

In this case, he only gets fresh air through his Door and at night forget it because he has to close the Door which was facing outside because of security even though then security was relatively okay.

That was the life we spent/experienced as Off-Campus Students in the 1980s. We were exposed to the rain during the rainy season and to Harmattan during the Cold season. Even with that, we enjoyed the moment because to us it was part of life experience.

Another good aspect of it was that during Holidays we could leave our belongings in the Compound and still come back to see/get them intact. No much Housebreaking.

In fact, I am missing those good olden days when almost everything was intact when everyone is his brother’s keeper. No tribalism, no religious difference, and we all saw ourselves as one fighting common.

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You meet students from all walks of life who came to learn. Learn from the only popular and widely acceptable University in Nigeria and indeed the World.

Today, after over 35 years of graduation, I know that the Off-Campus affairs have now become more rampant and more celebrated because of the increase in Students, with some Students renting Rooms, while some renting apartments all depending on choice and financial background.

Fellow Abusite, this was my experience as an Off-Campus Student while in my second year at the University which I feel I should share with you all.

In case I made a mistake in my submission, please correct me, and in doing that it has to be gentle because I believe that anything Human is bound to make mistakes.

Till then remain blessed while I remain yours Sincerely Abusite Colleague forever. Thank you all.

Alhaji Adamu Abubakar is a proud Abusite

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