The heightened insecurity in Nigeria characterised by kidnappings, armed robbery, petty theft and rape has spilled into tertiary institutions in the country, forcing students to develop new strategies to protect their lives.
Recently, On August 1, 2019, a female undergraduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, was allegedly raped by some soldiers stationed at the military checkpoint in Ikare Akoko, Akoko North-East Local Government Area of the state. The incident has since forced other students of the institution to take measures to cope.
Babaleye Jeremiah, a student in the Faculty of Law in AAUA, told SaharaReporters that they have taken their destinies into their own hands.
He said, “We have had several issues of cultist clash, armed robbery and hostel robbery. Even though we have been persistent in reporting these issues to the school management and the police, it still happens.
“Sometimes, the police will be there when it happens and they will not do anything.
“So, to protect ourselves, we now restrict our movement and don’t go out at night.
“There are some parts of my school in Akungba that you cannot even go to after 10:00pm but before it wasn’t like this.
“We cannot go to night classes anymore because of the activities of robbers and cult gangs.
“The raping of a female student by a soldier scared people but when it happened we wrote to the government but we haven’t seen much results.”
At the University of Jos in Plateau State, academic activities on campus are usually disrupted by ethno-religious crisis that ravaged the city since 1994.
James Davou, a student at the Department of Mass Communication in the university, told SaharaReporters that it had been tough living in an atmosphere of fear.
He said, “Since I gained admission to this university, it has been one crisis or the other.
“The other day, there was tension due to a clash in town and because the university is located at an area that is a flashpoint in town, some boys from Russo Village invaded our hostel and started shooting at students. Even a soldier shot a student dead that day.
“Whenever things like this happen, we usually skip classes and go home until it is safe to return.
“Surviving as a student of this university has not been easy. When the school management notices that we don’t attend lectures regularly, they usually announce a two-week break for staff and students.
“I don’t like it because I know in other parts of the country, this does not happen to students and it is affecting our academics.”
At the Obafemi Awolowo University in Osun State, students were thrown into panic in May this year over a letter by a cult group that threatened to attack students on June 1, 2019.
On July 9, 2019, the university honoured five students, who were killed in a cultist attack in 1999.
Recalling events of the time in relation to happenings now, Olowolafe Oluwadunsi, a student of OAU, said, “If you remember the events of the July 10, 1999, a lot of students were killed and since then, the campus has always been a tensed place because students have always provided their own security.
“Recently, due to the attack on campus unions and ideological groups, there has been a drop in consciousness and an increase in crime.
“A certain accommodation policy led to about 70 per cent of students leaving the campus to places in town and Ile-Ife town is not really a safe place and this has led to an increase in cult attacks and rape cases on campus.
“We have complained to school authorities to come to our aid but they have not been responding.
“If there was a student’s union in place, students would have been able to address it by conducting searches and interventions.
“But for now, we have to devise our own tactics to be safe from criminal gangs including armed robbers and rapists terrorising us on campus.”