The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has blamed the management of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, ATBU, Bauchi for the tragic collapse of a bridge in the school leading to the death of three students and causing others to be injured.
The association is therefore asking for monetary compensation to the families of the dead students as well as award of admissions and scholarships to qualified members of their families.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, National President of the association, Mr. Danielson Akpan, specifically accused the school management of negligence and called on it tender unreserved written apology to the families of the victims of the collapsed bridge.
He said an Executive Council constituted by NANS after the collapse of the bridge and the death of the students confirmed negligence on the part of the school management as a major cause of the tragic incident.
The statement read in part: “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 Aug. 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.
“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.’’
Akpan said that NANS Executive 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.’’