Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa University (ATBU) erupted in chaos Monday as students, enraged by the death of their geology classmate, Joseph Agabaidu, clashed with security forces in a violent protest.
In a swift move to quell the unrest, the university announced an immediate closure for one week, ordering all students to vacate the premises.
Agabaidu, a 500-level student, reportedly died under unclear circumstances, triggering a wave of anger and frustration among his peers. The students, gathering at the Yelwa gate around 8:00 am, found their path blocked by a heavy police presence. Undeterred, they vented their fury, chanting slogans and demanding accountability.
The charged atmosphere quickly escalated. Police, attempting to disperse the crowd, resorted to tear gas. Incensed, the students retaliated, blocking the entrance to the campus and creating a tense standoff.
News of the escalating situation reached the university administration, prompting immediate action. In a press release signed by Deputy Registrar Hajiya Fatima Inuwa Abdullahi, Vice Chancellor Professor Abdulzeez, acting on behalf of the Senate, announced the university’s closure immediately.
“The management has closed the university for an initial period of one week with immediate effect,” the statement declared, citing the “violent protest” as the reason. It further directed all students to “vacate the University premises immediately,” warning of “appropriate sanction” for non-compliance.
The sudden closure cast a pall over the university, leaving many students bewildered and frustrated. While some complied with the evacuation order, others huddled in groups, discussing the events in hushed tones. The air crackled with tension, starkly contrasting the usual vibrancy of campus life.
As calm returned to the embattled campus, questions swirled around the cause of Agabaidu’s death and the administration’s handling of the situation. The student body, deeply shaken by the tragedy and the subsequent unrest, awaits answers and assurances as they prepare for an uncertain week away from their academic home.