BSU off camp students groan over accommodation

By Faith Igbudu

Living off campus in the university is one luxury reserved for a select few. However, with the present day reality, where university facilities are not sufficient to cater for all of her students, an off campus accomodation is to be much desired by all students.

As they resume from the long ASUU strike, students of the university living off camp have been left at the mercy of landlords as they beg them to be considerate over their accommodation, given the economic difficulty in the country.

The appeal came as The Voice visited some of the students areas to get their opinion on the rent issue.

Recall that ASUU on February 14, 2022, embarked on strike. However, on October 13, 2022, the union suspended the eight months old strike.

The Voice gathered that some students who can not face the economic blow are already coming behind their landlords to pack their belongings, leaving behind outstanding rent.

Speaking on behalf of the students, Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students- Joint Campus Council (NANS-JCC), Comr. Faasema Maxwell, made a case for the students.

“There were some students who were around during the strike, their case is different. There are those who are in Makurdi primarily because of education, those ones went away during the strike, for them, renewing their rent will be a challenge. We intend to set up a committee at the students union level to mediate on the issue.

“We are considering a waiver. It is very difficult economically. I’ve met with some students and they have just being pouring out their woes to me. These landlords should show understanding because the strike was not the fault of the students,” he said.

Meanwhile, landlords of properties housing university students in Benue state have said no consideration will be given to tenants because of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) long strike.

The landlords, who spoke differently to The Voice said, they were not responsible for the strike and went on to blame the federal government for its inability to solve the impasse prolonging it to eight months.

One of the landlords around Gyado Villa, Makurdi, Aondona Tyoapine said: “It is mandatory that any tenant occupying your property must pay, so I expect no controversy about this. I am not the one that called for the strike, if there is going to be any waiver, it is going to be on personal grounds of understanding between the landlord and tenant.”

Another house owner around Gyado Villa, Torkuma Iorwuese, explained to The Voice that though there was ASUU strike, many students still lived in their rooms and actively utilized the environment. He said it will be unfair to any landlord, if it is said that because of the strike which lasted for eight months, students should not pay their rent.

Terlumun Nyior and David Andoor are both landlords at Gyado Villa and behind Customary Court respectively, they explained that the students did not leave with all their belongings during the strike. They said these properties have been secured over the strike period. Nyior went on to say that students who traveled out of the state used their rooms for guest houses for family or friends who needed a place to pass a night.

Another landowner, Terhemba Adah, decried the hardship the strike caused and expressed joy that it was over. He said the students and non students felt the punch as there was no economic activity in the area.

However, Stephen Ahurugh, a landowner, said he is going to offer a waiver to the students on his property. He added that he would take something from them, in order, to enable him do some repairs to the rooms and make them habitable.

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