On the BUK Female Student who Committed Suicide

by Muhsin Ibrahim,

This is coming a bit late, or at least later than expected. I had tried to dig out and gather more fact on what exactly happened, but I couldn’t obtain much substantive explanation. Yet, I have a lot to say, to, at least, debunk some fibs and falsity going viral on the social media regarding the case.

I know about a similar case with two students (and are coincidentally siblings) in the Dept of English and Literary Studies, BUK. My very close friend and colleague, Mal. Aliyu Yakubu coordinates their level. He, out of sheer compassion, tried everything possible to rectify their problem within his power and jurisdiction, but he couldn’t.

The registration portal (i.e website) is monitored and maintained by the ICT/Computer Science Department people. He went to the person in charge of that. The staff outrightly told him that he should see his superior, the director of the centre. He went to the director, Dr. Ajiya. He too told him that he couldn’t do anything as there was a directive from the VC that registration was over – and that came after at least two postponements, the last attracted a surcharge. But he advised him to ask the students to write to the VC via the HOD, apologising and requesting a favour to rectify their default. And so was done. The students are now going on with their students without a hitch.

letter kano

There is yet another option that comes in second semester. A student can buy and fill what’s called an Add and Drop Form. By using this form, as its name implies, one can add or drop any course he has or hasn’t registered in the session.

Philomena Umoru, the deceased, could’ve done the same – first or second option -, and that might have saved her life. But she decided to go the other way, doing something else. Most likely, the lecturer whose course she failed to correctly register was not fully aware of her predicament. Even if he was, there was nothing he could do more than to guide her follow the required channels to rectify her mistake.

Again, there are possible motives behind her committing suicide. She was 46, perhaps unmarried. She had yet to finish her first degree, though she struggled, obviously, a lot to do that. But even a war isn’t won by brawl alone but by the combination of brawl and brain and careful strategy.

I also believe that a sane person who believes in fate couldn’t end his life that quickly over a less severe issue as such. Must one do a degree? Must one finish once he begins? How many others survive spillovers (backlogs) I and II? Why would I say “f*ck existence” – her words – because I cannot do a degree? Is degree the raison d’etre of our life? Hell, no.

It’s just too unfortunate and pathetic. I really sympathise with her loved ones. It’s a tragic end she has.

I hope people should be more understanding and fair to her lecturers and the University in general. BUK does a lot to support and safeguard the lives, the studies and almost everything of her students. The lectures could be wrong, as any other humans, but blame them only when they are blameworthy.

Attached is the copy of those students’ letter I snapped, for I equally have a similar case with a student. Can you imagine? I, WALLAHI, asked the student to do the same more than a month ago but he has yet to. Hmm. Should something happens later, the same social media zealots will come and crucify me. Dan Adam sai Allah.