Wednesday 1 June 2016

Insecurity of Students living off campus and the Criminal response ( OPEN LETTER)

The security issues facing the country today and the security agencies' capacity and efficiency to handle it is one that  has generated a lot of
controversy in the media and in small circles.
It is a fact that both organised and unorganized robbery are fast becoming the bane of the security agencies.

What perhaps is their greatest undoing is their inability to protect citizens from criminals.

The plight of students living in students communities around the University of Benin is appalling, to say the very least.

The insecurities we face weekly is not one that any sane person would wish for. We left our homes to come to Uniben to study and get a degree, rather than achieving that singular purpose, we're been harassed, robbed and exploited by organised robbers.

Quite often, when students stay off campus, there is the general stereotype smeared on them, with others saying "they feel too big to stay in school hostels, so they deserve whatever they get"

The question I want to ask is this :
If we all apply to get accommodation on campus, will Halls 1-5 contain us all?

So where then is the logic of that baseless stereotype?

What is more repugnant is the University management 's insensitivity and cold callousness to the welfare of students staying off campus,  who gets maimed and robbed at will. This amounts to nothing short of victimization all because we stay off campus.

The students who stay in school hostels are not more elite or more worthy than we who stay in Ekosodin, BDPA, Osasogie and Isihor. We pay the same amount of school fees. We receive the same lectures. Why must it be that when it comes to our welfare and security, we're told to go look out for ourselves, that the University is not responsible for whatever we do outside the school?

Then why was I given school ID card? To use it for a decoration or simply to go hang myself with the rope attached?.

The student Union government repeated silence on this issue is an indictment on their part.
The President and the director of welfare should remember that during the election, they didn't get votes only from students who reside in school hostels. We who stay off campus voted en masse.

Do we have to wait for a student to be killed before the school management and the SUG will arise and do something?!

For crying out loud, female students are being raped weekly here in BDPA! The robbers have grown so much in confidence that they can come in, Rob and maim at will only too sure that the security agencies (vigilantes inclusive) WILL NOT DO ANYTHING!

I am sure if you meet five students who stay of campus, two will have stories of experiences of armed robbery to tell.

In just  BDPA alone, popular hostels such as Universal Towers, Rovera Hostel, and lot others have become threshing floors and play grounds of the robbers.

Just over two weeks ago,
A hostel at 27th Street was robbed, a student almost raped. Two days later, these same sets of thieves went to that same hostel, but this time, with superior Firepower and entered the rooms they  couldn't enter the last time they came.

It is downright pitiable that the citizens of this country has developed a "siddon look" attitude to things, rising only to the occasion only when things get out of hand.
We should recall the events of last year that led to the death of Rita Awele of the department of Philosophy. The speed breaks are things that normally are supposed to be in place to ensure safety on the expressway, but it was unfortunate that a student had to lose her life before the breaks were constructed.

We are being denied our fundamental right to security, and the University management does not feel the need to do anything about it. Neither do the Student Union.
Posterity will judge us all if we wait for things to get out of hand before we do anything.

I therefore use this medium to call on the persons responsible for students welfare to look into this matter and come to our rescue. Life is way too precious to sit down and do nothing.

"The darkest places in Hell are reserved for those who choose to maintain their neutrality (or indifference, in this case) in times of great moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri

MacHarry Confidence
Department of History and International Studies.

What's your thought about this???

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