Group seeks special security units for varsity hostels
To effectively curb incessant security breaches around universities by armed robbers, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked President Bola Tinubu to direct his education minister, Tahir Mamman, to liaise with security forces on the need to to set up special units in the state commands.
The group described incessant attacks on female hostels and frequent sexual violations by armed men as coordinated terrorism and a ‘national pandemic.’
HURIWA’s National Director, Emmanuel Onwubiko, who lamented the increasing menace, yesterday, asked government to ensure that securing these assets is made a national priority.
He noted that the nation has a notoriety for witnessing spates of attacks by armed men onuniversity hostels, but sadly, the central and sub-national governments have failed to activate effective and proactive counter security measures to check the rising crime.
Onwubiko described the recurring targeted armed robbery attacks on hostels over the years, without any formidable response through a deliberately couched national policy on security hostels and campuses of tertiary institutions in the country by the Federal and state Governments, as abysmal and disappointing.
He said: “We find it disconcerting that for many years the tertiary institutions in Nigeria are being attacked and female students systematically raped and violated, but these heinous crimes against humanity have not received the kind of attention from the office of Nigeria’s president as it should. We wonder whether if the daughters of Mr. President, ministers and governors are housed in these publicly funded University hostels, whether the government officials be negligent of the primary constitutional duty of securing these assets and keeping our children safe from armed invaders?”
Demanding an urgent security taskforce to tackle this menace, HURIWA provided highlighted some of the attacks.
“On September 3, many students of University of Calabar reportedly fled the campus following attacks by masked gunmen on the Malabor Republic hostels on Saturday night. Many reportedly left on Sunday, as they feared the gunmen would return.
“The armed invasion happened at about 9:00 p.m. on Friday and lasted over 30 minutes without campus security intervention. According to the Malabites, the gunmen successfully stole several phones and money belonging to the students in Hall 4. A victim, who gave her name as Helen Akpan, said:
“The armed gang successfully operated in Room 228, 227, and 232, and were shooting sporadically. The sound of their guns struck fear and caused confusion.
“On August 24, it was reported that tension enveloped Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, after hoodlums suspected to be armed robbers, invaded the school.
“The assailants raided female hostels on Thursday morning, carting away mobile phones, cash and other valuables.
“One of the students said four female students were injured during the attack while some girls were sexually assaulted when the assailants invaded hostel ‘D’ and ‘C’ near the school back gate, where many of the female students are accommodated.
“On January 6, it was reported that in the wee hours of the previous day, some of the students of University of Ibadan living in off campus, in private hostels, were shot at, with their mobile phones, iPads, laptops and other portable gadgets, as well as money carted away. It was gathered that the armed robbers who stormed Barika area, Agricola street and Agbowo community located in Ibadan North Local Council of Oyo State, between the hours of 1:30 a.m., and 2:00 a.m., injured the residents and a watchman during the robbery operations.”
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