The management of Adamawa State University has banned a students’ press club operating in the institution for three months for allegedly posing a threat “to the security of other students on campus”.
In a letter forwarded to the president of the press club, signed by the Acting Registrar, Ahmed Ghaji, which was made available to newsmen, Mr Ghaji said, “Management has received with dismay the report on the activities of the Press Club and the threat it poses to the security of other students on campus”
According to the statement, the press club was banned from operating on campus for three (3) months with effect from January 27.
Mr Ghaji directed the press club to immediately stop every activity and ensure strict compliance by all members.
The National Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ) has condemned the banning of the press club.
In a statement posted on NUCJ official twitter page, the union described the ban as illegal.
“NUCJ totally condemns the illegal ban of Press Club in Adamawa State University, for three months. Findings reveal that the university management has no good-enough reasons to ban the student journalists for exercising their rights.”
Incessant clampdown of media space in tertiary institutions
The clampdown of media space in tertiary institutions by the school’s management is on the rise.
In May 2019, a student of Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU), Ikot Akpaden, was suspended indefinitely from the school for allegedly calling the university vice-chancellor ‘foolish’ on Facebook.
In February 2019, six students of the Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State, were arrested and detained for posting ‘offensive’ messages on Facebook. They have been released on bail.
In October, newsmen reported how the Taraba State University expelled a first-year student, Joseph Israel, after he repeatedly criticised the state governor, Darius Ishaku, on Facebook.
In November, the management of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, (FUNAAB) in Ogun State, expelled one of its students over a Facebook post drawing the attention of the public to the alleged indiscriminate arrest of his colleagues by the police and incessant robbery attacks on campus.
Recently, the State Security Services (SSS) arrested and charged Ayoola Babalola, a campus journalist, to court for allegedly publishing articles in a campus newspaper called GAPOSA Trumpet in which he served as the editor.
Mr Babalola was remanded in Ibara Maximum Prison in Abeokuta.