At least two students were injured when suspected armed robbers attacked a University of Ibadan hostel early Friday, a spokesperson has said.
The director of communications of the school, Olatunji Oladejo, told PREMIUM TIMES the students had been hospitalised.
In the early hours of Friday, some gunmen, suspected to be armed robbers, attacked the Obafemi Awolowo Hostel located in the University of Ibadan and injured no fewer than two residents of the hostel.
PREMIUM TIMES learned the attack took place at that a female hostel known as Awo Hall, which is the closest hostel to the Polytechnic of Ibadan.
The gunmen reportedly shot sporadically, raided the hall and took away phones and money from the students.
The university, in its bid to reduce the rate of crimes in the campus, had, a few days ago, banned the activities of commercial motorcyclists.
“Many of the students were said to have been robbed. But, there is no reported case of rape,” the spokesperson said.
The Students’ Union President for the 2012/2013 session in the university, Babatunde Badmus, confirmed that students in blocks B and C were mostly affected.
Mr Badmus narrated the account he heard from witnesses and other sources:
“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.
“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.
“The management had earlier banned the operation of motorcycles in the school, tagging it to be one of the greatest tools that aid robbery and bag snatching on campus. A move that has heavily inconvenienced students and staff of the institution.
“Now, what would the excuse be? What happens now when thieves got away despite the UI heavy security, heavy security that has been systematically victimising students for years?
“Also, the university security system has to be reviewed. How ineffective can both the Abefele and vigilantes be, especially when the actual need for them is crucial?
“I remember in 2013 when Obafemi Awolowo hall was robbed. I was the students’ union president then. That night, we were having an overnight music concert in Independence hall when we got the call around 12. I called my exco members, (Fela, Opayne, Sagacious, etc) and friends, and we stormed Awo Hall to rescue the situation. In the end, we were able to stop the situation. Those thieves fled without succeeding because of the solidarity of students, because students had leaders who swore to protect them. That was because we had a union.
“Mr Vice Chancellor, Sir, please reinstate the union to avoid issues like this, to allow students to have basic rights and privileges on campus,” he said.