The Oasis Reporters
July 13, 2019
It was an extremely rude shock to the University of Ibadan community when heartless armed robbers successfully broke into the Obafemi Awolowo female hostel, reputed to be one of the largest halls of residence for female students in Nigeria’s premier university. No one actually believed that with the internal security guards and a nearby police station at Bodija as well as the not too far away military cantonment in neighbouring barracks at Ojoo, such a brazen act could occur.
Two students of the University of Ibadan (UI), Ibadan were injured, early Friday morning as the armed men attacked the female hostel in the institution.
The affected students are residents of Obafemi Awolowo (Awo Hall) Hall in the school and the attack was carried out in the early hours of Friday morning.
According to a Spokesperson of the University, Tunji Oladejo, who confirmed the incident to Channels TV, the victims have been taken to Jaja Clinic for treatment.
The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Sina Olukolu, has also visited the scene of the incident.
Questions on the lips of Ibadan residents revolved around why such a dastardly act could be so brazen and so successful.
Investigations revealed that the said Awolowo Hall (Awo Hall for short) has no properly fortified gate, as the most popular way of entry is through the Porter’s lodge. It was built long ago, as one of the three female halls of residence that include Queen Elizabeth II hall. Queen’s Hall is now the smallest in the Campus, having been built by the Institution when it was a College, superintendent by University of London, and run principally by a majority of British staff. There were very few indigenous staff then, some 70 years ago.
Queen’s Hall is well fortified, but takes fewer students than Awo Hall. Idia Hall makes up the three.
Awo Hall has a low fence. It is possible that security advisers at the time that it was built did not factor in a futuristic increase in Nigeria’s crime rate.
University of Ibadan is within 1 3minutes driving distance from Sabo quarters, according to satellite images via Google maps, where there is a thriving foreign currency exchange market, and a large reservoir for sales of fairly used furniture, clothes, phones, laptops and all kinds of stuff. The market is run mostly by people said to originate from the northern part of Nigeria, Chad and Niger who are all classified as Northerners.
Items stolen from the distraught and largely traumatized students include phones, laptops, tablets, money and other valuables during the robbery operation, which lasted for several hours.
The robbery comes at a time when many old students have not been given accommodation as it seems there was a marginal increase in the number of fresh students admitted this year. New hostels have not been built, except for some private ones that charge exorbitant rates.
Additional reporting : Channels TV