Security officials of the University of Maiduguri, UNIMAID, have been accused of sexually molesting some female students of the varsity who were protesting the recent tuition hikes.
Naija News understands that UNIMAID had just increased its tuition fee by ₦5,000, a development that stirred outrage among the students.
In a bid to express their disagreement with the recent fee increase, the students both male and female came out en mass to stage a peaceful protest. It was, however, reported that some of the females among them were assaulted and stripped naked in public by the school security officials.
The students were reportedly arrested and detained for expressing their rights.
Eyewitnesses told PUNCH that the majority of those injured during the arrest of the students were female.
The Dean of Student Affairs at UNIMAID, Gimba, had earlier warned that the university management would deal with those trying to breach the campus peace.
According to eyewitnesses, many female students had joined their colleagues in the protest when security operatives stormed the scene to disperse the protesters with minimum force while arresting many.
Narrating her experience, a 200 Level female student, Zainab, told reporters that, “The institution increased the tuition fee by N5,000 despite the first increment at the inception of the Aliyu Shugaba administration in June 2019; without visible improvement in infrastructure.”
“Apart from the lack of electricity supply to our hostels, there is the persistent issue of water scarcity in the institution,” Zainab lamented.
Another student who was arrested and detained during the Monday mass protest said, “I was sexually harassed by the security personnel while the protest was going on. I was also locked in the school prison overnight for fighting for our rights.
“While in the school cell, I saw sick students, mostly females, who were really tortured by the institution’s security men. They took our ID cards, and tortured us because we were protesting our rights.”
The female student who pleaded not to be mentioned said; “I’m highly disappointed with the University of Maiduguri management board. What wrong have we committed by protesting the increase in tuition fee and requesting an improvement in light and water supply?”
On her part, a student of Biology Education who also spoke in anonymity told reporters that female students were sexually harassed by the institution’s security men, while they also stripped some of them naked in public.
Meanwhile, the school management had reportedly revoked the bed spaces of the protesting students in the hostels.
In his words earlier, Gimba said: “The management is observing the current situation with keen interest, and it won’t tolerate unwanted behaviour by students or intruders trying to destabilise activities in the university.”
“Consequent upon this, the effort has already been put in place to address issues raised, especially those on security and power supply.
“Regarding those suspended from the hostel, they will return as soon as investigation is concluded. Students are therefore advised to be of good behaviour and avoid acts that may lead to creating chaos on the campus,” the Dean of Student Affairs added.