Armed Robbers Attack Obafemi Awolowo Hall in UI

Armed Robbers Attack Obafemi Awolowo Hall in UI

Friday, July 12, 2019 1:38 pm

Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka

Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan

In what is becoming incessant in the University of Ibadan, UI, armed robbers allegedly numbering about 10 today invaded Obafemi Awolowo Hall, a female hostel of the institution, robbing the students of their valuables, with some of them sustaining injuries.

It was gathered that there was a similar attack in the hall in June.

According to information gathered, the robbers operated in about 30 rooms of Block A, B, and C. The robbers, who stormed the Hall around 1am and operated room-to-room for about one hour, were said to have carted away students’ valuables including cash, phones and laptops.

Some of the students were said to have jumped from the third floor to the ground floor in order to escape assault and rape.

Confirming the invasion of the female hostel, the Director of the Public Communication in the school, Olatunji Oladejo said that two students were injured and are currently receiving treatment in Jaja Health Centre, the institution’s clinic.

Oladejo stated, “Yes, robbers attacked Awo Hall. The school Chief Security Officer, CSO, Victor Fadeyibi, has briefed me and he said that two students were injured. The students are already receiving treatment in the hospital. The police have been invited and they are already investigating the matter”.

Speaking on the robbery, a former Students’ Union Scribe was quoted to have said, “This morning, I woke up to the news that some unscrupulous elements, heavily armed with guns, machetes, and some other dangerous ammunition, raided Obafemi Awolowo Hall in the University of Ibadan around 1 am, with their activities taking place around Block B and C of the largest female hall of residence in Sub-Sahara Africa. There were several allegations of students sustaining injuries. One, particularly reports that a lady was also raped during the robbery. The University management, security, and porters could not do anything to arrest the situation. It is, in fact, reported that some girls opened their doors willingly because they thought the porters were back to continue an audit that had been going as at 11 pm that night. Despite the fact that this robbery was on for more than 30 minutes, there was no intervention. It should not take the UI Abefele, security, more than 10 minutes to drive from their post beside the Senate chamber to the scene of the robbery”.

He said further, “But in their typical lackadaisical attitude to the real threat to student lives and properties, it took them over one hour to surface at the scene when properties of the students had been carted away and a number had been injured. The University security, Abefele, arrived exactly 1 hour 15 minutes after the operation, around 2:15 am. They certainly lived up to their nickname coined by students, Abefele, a blunt knife that is every bit as redundant and ineffectual. The University’s management is always quick to send security operatives to disperse Congress of harmless students whenever they want to resist oppression but they become suspiciously deaf to the agonies of students facing real threatening situations”.

This is about the third robbery attack in the Halls of Residence of the Premier University within a month. Last week, some hoodlums were said to have attacked Abdulsalami Abubakar Hall, carting away items including laptops and phones. According to information, hoodlums attack Abdulsalami Abubakar Hall virtually every week.

Also, on June 1, 2019, several rooms were burgled at the Tafawa Balewa Hall, housing doctoral students, and valuables including clothing and laptops were carted away. It was easy for them to operate in the hall without being caught because most of the doctoral students only stay in the hall whenever they come to school to see their supervisors and within few days, they travelled back to where they come from.

Investigation revealed that apart from attacks in the students hostels, robbers have been invading staff quarters and carting away valuables.

Two professors who have been victims of robbery attacks, who want to remain anonymous, explained that it is sad that the security on campus of the institution has become so porous to the extent that robbers and thieves operate freely.

One said, “One day, I came home to realise that robbers have entered my house and stole some of my goods. They entered through the roof. I felt so bad. As a matter of fact, in other to discourage robbers coming to my house, I have to buy a security dog. The school management has to do something very fast before robbery attacks will become everyday affairs”.

Another professor said, “I was not at home when they came. They came through the window and wrecked their havoc. It is high time our security men are allowed to carry guns. In the past, staff will want to live on campus because it is safe but it is seems that situation is getting out of hand”.

A staff in the junior Quarters, whose house was burgled recently was said to have lost valuables and cash of over N500, 000, which was a collection by other members of staff.

Another staff accused the school management of insensitivity to the plight as well as safety of both staff and students in the institution.

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