At the extreme southern part of University of Nigeria Nsukka, a multi-million naire structure stayed abandoned, dilapidated and harbouring several dangerous reptiles.
WITHIN NIGERIA gathered that the building which was popularly known as Maryam Babangida Building has stayed abandoned and uncompleted for over three decades, making it one of the abandoned structures in the premier university.
According to our investigation, the building if completed would have served as a conference centre for the first indigenous university in Nigeria.
In any case, when our reporter visited the building, it was gathered that the structure has been taken over by grasses, shrubs and dangerous reptiles. The building is also said to be used by men of underworld to plan and execute their evil machinations.
However, our reporter gathered that certain unseen forces were said to have been involved in the abandonment of one the greatest structures the University would ever have got.
In a chat with one of the researchers in the University, Comrade Ekene Ugwuanyi, the building is said to be shrouded in myths and mysteries.
Further checks revealed that it has rebuilt three times, yet at the final stage before the roofing, it will sink and some parts will collapse.
In any case, what surprises many interested stakeholders and onlookers is that many other buildings like ECOBANK, UBA, and other buildings were not more than 50 metres away from the building, yet they don’t have such problems.
Tracing the origin of the problems , Comrade Ugwuanyi stated that “before the establishment of the University, this particular place belonged to Obukpa, precisely Ogwashi-Akwari village.”
Explaining further, he said that “let me tell you something about the formation of federation in Igbo Nsukka. If you meet the eldest male (Onyishi) of Ogwashi-Akwari village in Obukpa and ask him about the origin of Ogwashi- Akwarị village, he would tell you that Ogwashi-Akwari migrated from Eha-Alumona.
“If you go to Eha-Alumona, there is a particular village called Akwari. The story of the village, just like other villages in Eha-Alumona as well as Obukpa, is a story of migration. It was in the time of ancient warfare. The Akwaris were invited to help in the war. They were of great reputation in warfare because of their god of War called Igbogbo.
“However, after fighting the war, they stayed there in Eha-Alumona and then established the shrine of their god of war, Igbogbo. Igbogbo is the principal god of Akwaris village in Eha-Alumona”
Narrating further, he said that “if you come to Obukpa, each village had a particular principal deity. For instance, Ihe has Elu, Ama-Ozara has Odo-Ugwu, Umu-Ezike and Imuhu had Egwu, Ụmụagede had Orisa-Eg’r etc. Do you know the principal deity of Igwashi-Akwari? Their principal deity is called Igbogbo.
“When they migrated from Eha-Alumona, they had to establish the altar of their god of war, Igbogbo.”
He however, stressed that before the Eastern Government came to drive some parts of Obukpa away from their original land in order to establish the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, this particular place the uncompleted Maryam Babangida Building is situated was where the Igbogbo shrine was located and worshipped.
“The people of Ogwashị-Akwari had to move northward to their present location abandoning their land for the University. For instance, the so called Vet. Mountain or what the narrator of Chimamanda Adichie’s ‘Purple Hibiscus’ calls ODIM HILL (If we really take literature as mirror of the society) was originally called and is still called Ugwu-Ogwashi (Ogwashi Hill) by the people of Obukpa up till this day.
“The people of Ogwashi-Akwari had to relocate the shrine of their god to the present location in their village but this particular place where this Maryam Babangida Building stands erected was the original shrine of Igbogbo deity of the people of Ogwashi-Akwari of Obukpa.
“For years, after building the structure, it would collapse until out of frustration, the University abandoned the building. While there’s or are scientific reasons for the abandonment of the building like unfavorable earth component or some geological reasons as such, the folk people of Obukpa have a different reason.
“According to them, Igbogbo would not watch and allow a structure being erected on its sacred shrine. That is why the building remains uncompleted even till this day.”
On the way forward to remedy the situation and complete the edifice, the researcher stated that there is no solution other than probably appease the gods or relocate the building else where.
In any case, corroborating the story, one of the graduates of the University, Mr. Joseph Eze told WITHIN NIGERIA that “when I was admitted in the University to study Economics some years ago, that was when I heard about the mystery surrounding the building. Since then, no single block has been added to the building.”
Explaining further, Eze stated that ” I was wondering why such beautifully designed was abandoned for long until I heard the story about the building. But what baffles me is that other buildings like that of ECOBANK and UBA were there without any problem at all.”
However, when our reporter called the Public Relations Officer of the University Chief Umeaku Okwum for his comment on the matter, he phone number couldn’t go through.