lateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has expressed determination to recover the University of Jos (UNIJOS) land encroached on by the host communities.
The governor disclosed this during the 31st and 32nd combined convocation of the institution held at the General Jeremiah Useni Stadium, Naraguta campus of the university in Jos, Plateau State.
He said: “I have received the report of the Committee we set up to investigate the alleged encroachment on the University of Jos land. Let me assure the university that we shall secure every inch of the land belonging to the institution that had been encroached upon, while those found culpable will be made to account for their actions.
“We are working with the university and security agencies to ensure that cultism and other criminal activities within and around the campuses of the university are tackled in order provide a safe learning environment.”
Meanwhile, the President and Visitor to the university, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, urged the students to shun cultism and other social vices, saying they should channel their energy and knowledge towards nation building.
He said: “We should take the advantage of the opportunity within the context of a complex society such as ours, to help in lifting our society in order to create better life for our citizens in the face of these challenges.
“The nation is grappling with developmental challenges of providing essential needs such as schools, clothing, shelter and basic utilities to the citizens.”
The President, however, tasked Nigerian universities to provide the best pathway to break away from the present shackles of ignorance, poverty, deprivation and despair by engaging in cutting-edge research towards solving national challenges.
However, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sabastian Maimako lamented that the institution had been unable to access land donated to it by the state government due to encroachment by the host communities.
“It is a pity that the land allocated to us by the government for our master plan cannot be fully accessed and developed due to the hostility and non-cooperation from the host communities,” he regretted.
The Vice-Chancellor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to provide a security outpost in the proximity of the university and to construct perimeter fencing of the university to enhance adequate security of staff and students.