The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has indicted the management of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, ATBU, Bauchi for the tragic collapse of a bridge in the school leading to death of three students and others injured.
The association, among others, demanded compensations to the families of the students that lost their lives to the tragic incident on August 3 and award of admissions and scholarships to qualified members of their families.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, National President of the association, Danielson Akpan, specifically indicted the school management for negligence.
He said, following the death of the three students during a heavy downpour leading to bridge collapse in ATBU, the Executive Council of NANS was constituted which went round the school to identify the causes of the tragedy.
He said the executive council of the association, having assessed the site of the collapsed bridge, identified negligence on the part of the school management as a major cause of the tragic collapse of the bridge.
“The Students Union Government was able to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that they drew the attention of the management to the state of the bridge and the need to address it immediately.
“This was ignored by the management and the result was the death of students on August 3.
“Secondly, we also discovered a serious disconnection and communication gap between the management of ATBU and the Students Union Government (SUG) as a major reason for inaction on the part of management,’’ he said.
Mr Akpan called on the management of ATBU to tender unreserved written apology to the families of the victims of the bridge collapse.
He said NANS resolved that the management of the school must pay compensations to the families of the victims that lost their lives during the bridge collapse.
The student leader added that the management should also award scholarships and admissions to qualified members of family of victims who lost their lives in the tragic incidence.
“The management of ATBU must take the full cost of medical bills of those injured during the bridge collapse.
“The school management must also reschedule examination and tests at convenient time after full recovery for those affected, who missed any exams or test as a result of injuries sustained.
“A suitable and standard bridge must be constructed to replace the collapsed bridge at the earliest possible time to ease movement of students from hostel to lecture halls,’’ he said.
Mr Akpan said NANS Executive Council also demanded that other basic amenities existing or not existing in the school must also be given priority attention.
He said the council also demanded the prioritisation of welfare of students of the institution, stressing that, “without students, there will not be a school management or lecturers’’.