Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State ordered the evacuation of Lagos State indigenes and residents studying in University of Jos, Plateau State following recent killings of over 23 persons by alleged invading Fulani herdsmen.
All 64 rescued Lagos-based students have lamented that they were still traumatised by the massacre experienced.
The students who arrived the state Secretariat, and received at Folarin Coker Building, at about 2.10 pm, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, by Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso on behalf of the state Governor, Mr Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, expressed their appreciation to Mr. Governor for coming to their rescue promptly.
The students specially thanked Mr Governor, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, Tertiary Education, Youth and Student Relations, Mr. Tayo Sanyaolu for their efforts in ensuring their safe arrival.
There has been rising tension in Jos after herdsmen attack leading to the death of over 23 Muslims, indigenes of Info State, who were travelling through Plateau State capital from Bauchi after attending a Muslim function.
The fear of reprisal attack has been a major concern of most state government hence, the evacuation of their indigenes from troubled areas.
Sanwo-Ou had dispatched a team, led by Wahab and Sanyaolu, accompanied by armed security personnel to the University of Jos, Plateau State, to evacuate students of Lagos origin and residents who were stranded as a result of the violence and subsequent closure of the institution.
Recall that despite the dusk-down curfew imposed, by the Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong, violence continued especially with the killings of some students of the University of Jos.
In view of the reported killings, the university management, announced the suspension of academic activities and advised students to vacate hostel and return to their various homes.
The first batch of evacuees include: 64, both males and females, while over 80 were said to still be trapped in Jos.
He thanked God for their safe arrival, saying it could only be God who has brought them safe and sound to Lagos from a war-like zone.
Omotoso added that it showed that the Lagos state government had the ability and capacity to response to any emergency especially when it concerns the people of the state, particularly, the youths adding that the major lesson was that they should always be good ambassadors of their families and government at all times.
He thanked God that no students lost their lives in the incident as they returned to Lagos in peace and urged them to continue to observe COVID-19 safety protocols to prevent infection and spread amid virulent Delta variant of the virus and also seized the opportunity to register for the ongoing vaccination against the virus.
“Also, you should not loose touch of your studies. See yourselves as special people. Don’t see this as a holiday. The state government has made adequate welfare packages for your return to your families safe and sound. And pray for peace to return to Jos so that you can return for your studies.”
Permanent Secretary of office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Kasali Adeniran, said the evacuation of students and non indigenes of Lagos was another landmark event while thanking them for their resilience, restating state government commitment to good governance and proactive in providing enabling environment as well as being on point when it comes to safety and security of lives.
The Representatives of the Students, Master Jinadu, thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for prompt evacuation and rescue because they had been experiencing tense situations and sleepless nights since the incident.
He therefore, urged the state government not to relent on its efforts to rescue over 80 other students who were still stranded in University of Jos, “as they have been calling them asking for when the rescue team is coming back for their evacuation. Please send more rescue team to evacuate them on time.”
Mr A. Biodun, a 300 level student, Department of Medical Laboratory science, Unijos, narrated: “I want to thank the state government for evacuating the indigenous students in Jos very swiftly.
“My experience as a student in the crisis in jos has been excruciating, traumatizing. Some of the students had sleepless nights for a very long time, we will be in our hostels and we will be hearing gunshots and people screaming, and we are very close by. We would switch off our lights and lay on the floor.
“We were scared, but when we heard that the Lagos State Government was sending relief and evacuation bus to come and pick us, we were happy and hoping they would come very early because it wasn’t a nice experience. The bus came at the nick of time.
“We are grateful to God that we have been moved to Lagos safely and we are really thankful to the Lagos State Governor.”
Another student, Miss Dolapo Adejumoke, Department of Psychology, stated: “Presently, the situation of things in Jos right now, majorly is affecting the students in the university, because the way things are going and the whole crisis, i think people in the state are used to it, but students coming from different places, they are the main victims, and one of the reason is because the university is situated at the center of the war zone.
“For the past two weeks now, i have not being able to sleep and think well, i have being doing things scattered, we can’t sleep with rest of mind at night because it’s like the gunshots are in front of our doors, really traumatizing. We can’t go out to get food because we have been on curfew for days now.
“For the first time in my life I saw dead bodies lying the road. I beg the government to go back to the round table and improve the security of the community where the students reside and also sit with the Fulani, the Hausas and the student union and discuss the way out.
“I think curfew is not the solution, the plateau state government should come back to the round table and go back to the source and solve it, instead of allowing it to affect the students, aside from people in deep villages, students are the victims.”Follow us on social media