Idowu Olayinka, vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan (UI), has said the institution is porous and susceptible to armed robbery attacks.
In July, Obafemi Awolowo female hall of residence came under attack by suspected armed robbers who carted away the student’s valuables and left some injured.
Less than a month later, a repeat of the attack was recorded in a female block of Abubakar Abdulsalam post-graduate hall of residence. Two male students got machete cuts to their heads in the attack.
In an interview he shared on his Facebook page after the first incident, Olayinka told Tree Club Press that the insecurity situation in the institution is worrisome.
The vc spoke as Prof. Ademola Aremu, chairman, Council Committee on Security of the institution assured that the university is reviewing its security architecture to forestall future attacks.
Aremu, who visited the female hostel attacked by gunmen in company with the VC stated that the police were working hard to track the invaders.
The invaders, he said, have shown pattern in their operation by attacking female students during holidays when halls are sparsely populated.
The Obafemi Awolowo female hostel in UI was attacked on July 11 by suspected robbers who again invaded Abdulsalam Abubakar Hall of the university in the early hours of August 11.
The vice-chancellor blamed it on the existence of multiple entry and exit points in the school.
“Yes, security has been an issue. The Oyo State Commissioner of Police even came here personally for the most recent crisis at Obafemi Awolowo Hall. It’s worrisome. Security of lives and property is very important. So, we are thinking of taking measures,” he said.
“Yes, UI is porous. There are even some other illegal entry and exit points. Behind Emmanuel College, there are foot paths. So, the campus is porous. There’s no doubt about that.
“”It’s a problem. And that’s why everybody has to be security conscious. It may not be totally eliminated but at least to reduce it to the barest minimum so that people can sleep with their two eyes closed. It’s an on-going something. They burgle staff quarters and all those…of course, you may not be aware. They even burgled a place very close to the VC’s lodge.”
Asked what measures would be deployed by the management to curb the attacks, Olayinka said the illumination in the halls will be improved.
He added that a male hall may be built close to Awo hall so that should there be an attempted attack, the attacker(s) will “face the boys” and they will “finish you if you try any nonsense”.
“We are talking of the lighting. There was even another burglary after the ugly incident in the early hours of July 12th. The CSO told me that on that particular floor, no bulb. The students on their own removed it. So, the place was dark. It’s the job of everybody,” he said.
“I was at Awolowo Hall on Sunday evening, just impromptu. But somehow, my Hall Warden was on ground. We are trying to construct a perimeter road so that there can be patrol.
“We can even build another hostel there and make it solely for male students, so that you first of all face the boys and they finish you if you tried any nonsense, among other things. No part of the world is 100% safe.”
Asked to verify how true it is that the security unit of the institution had not recruited in seven years, Olayinka said: “Yes, it’s possible. It’s not impossible. It’s a matter of cash. Because, we don’t have money. Jaja (the University Health Service clinic) is under-staffed, the academic departments are under-staffed. So, we cannot just take one department and treat it in isolation. For every new staff that you engage, it increases your wage bill.”