By: Zainab Iwayemi
- SU President Speaks On Insecurity on Campus.
In an exclusive interview with UCJ Unilorin, the Student Union President of the university states the concerns, causes, challenges and solutions to the issue of insecurity on and off campus.
He states that inadequate police personnel off campus and the age of securities on campus are causes of insecurity and incessant attacks on students of the university.
UCJ: What’s your take on insecurity generally?
Reedof: I am not pleased with recent happenings on campus. When you look at the way students complain bitterly in recent days over the issue of insecurity both on campus and off campus. But as a matter of fact the issue off campus is very wide, because Tanke community is big and it keeps developing day in day out, one of the challenge I think we are having in Tanke is owing to the fact that we have just a division (f division) covering the whole of tanke, that is equivalent to a local government so it’s challenging.
We have less number of police and when you look at the number of people in Tanke today, they are nothing less than a hundred thousand if I am not mistaken, because students in Tanke alone are more than 25,000 coupled with those that reside there. When we have a large number of people residing in a particular area like Tanke community, a congested area, there would definitely be people that would perpetrate evil, hiding under the population, and don’t forget that evil start with a mindset before it integrate into the group then they start executing their plan. So if there is a good working security measure in place, that should have relieved the university of the burden Off campus. But as it is what we are just clamouring for is for the state government to step up the number of personal that works in F division so that they will be able to protect lives and property.
UCJ: You mentioned that the state government should step up the number of personnel, what step have you taken to ensure this is executed?
Reedof: We have met with the commissioner of policeman’s we were made to realise that recruitment is not something that can just be done suddenly or at the discretion of the commission, it is something that is done nationally and it is seasonal. There is a particular time for to recruit and when the time comes, they would definitely do so. Our prayer now is for the time to come on time so that they can get more personnel in other to step up the standard and coverage of F division.
Digressing to campus, in recent days we are not happy with happenings but we thank God that lately things are getting better than what triggered the action of the Students Union to have an indoor security meeting. When the issue was becoming rampant, we saw the need to ensure the issue is relieved to the barest minimum or totally eradicated. We had to make some moves, we first understand and examined the causes of insecurity. If you will agree with me most of the people that perpetrate evil hide under darkness. Wherever is dark, people tend to hide and wait for students to come so they can perpetrate evil act.
Secondly, we realized that our students fail to work in group. You know even if you are walking at night but you are in group, it becomes scary for those who want to approach them.
Also we realise the security strength of the campus is beyond what our security personnel can handle so during our close door meeting we also came up with the resolution of engaging the paramilitary group,( man o’ war and cadet) to embark on night patrol. People can attest to the manifestation in fact, not quite long they caught a culprit around Arafims hostel and students’ property were recovered. So it has shown the effect and the result that has been yielded, so on the issue of illumination the Union has taken steps to ensure that we have proper lighting on our campus particularly in the night and that was what triggered our movement to go outside the four Walls of the university to sought for people that can do that for us. I can show you evidence of the approved letter to bring more light into the university and where it will be positioned will be determined by the Union.
We don’t want to rely solely on the university management alone, though we know it’s their responsibility but we don’t want to hide under the fact that they are facing some challenges but we believe if we can go out there to sought for aid will consolidate what the university Management is doing.
UCJ: Do you think walking in group would actually be the solution to the problem Of insecurity?
Reedof: of course I highlighted about three causes of the problem and the fact that we have sat and identified a particular problem, that means it’s one of the issue. It cannot be totally eradicated that’s why illumination and engagement of paramillitary group as part of attachment. We believe if these things are put in place insecurity will be reduced to the barest or even eradicated. Just 3-day ago a guy was caught in the university hostel, particularly compound D, Lagos hostel for theft but the student was apprehended and handed over to the security personnel.
UCJ: A guy in girls hostel, how do you think this was possible, is it owing to inefficiency of those in charge?
Reedof: I cannot fault those in charge that’s why I always say that the best security measure we should put in place is to be conscious. If not for their consciousness the guy would have escaped. Actually the issue is this, we have just a singular entry leading to the hostel and don’t forget we have a whole lot of fences surrounding the hostel. People can take the risk of jumping through the fence. It’s not a fault on the part of the portal what I think what we just need to encourage is for the university to set fence wire across the hostel so no one would be able to jump the fence.
UCJ: Do you think girls are more liable to be attacked than guys, what has the union done to avoid female vulnerability?
Reedof: One of the campaign is not to walk alone. Secondly, realising the root for which those guys plan to attack a female student, particularly in Zamfara hostel, in compound D or C. So we approached the security unit to provide us with security personnel that will be stationed in the area in the night and for this we have not been hearing report and we have no record of such again that shows how conscious the union is towards the security of lives and property of our members.
UCJ: It has come to our notice that guys loiter around girls hostel and this create panic for female students as they are afraid of being raped as the case around Arafims hostel last session. What has the Union put in place to curb this?
Reedof: You will notice that the area the incidence occurred lacked proper lighting. We have strong conviction that if the issue of lighting is being step up the security strength of that area will be much more better, that is for private hostel. But talking of the likes of Lagos hostel, Zamfara… I see no reason why females should be afraid in fact it is a tradition in our campus, to see guys around but not in the hostel. You cannot infringe on their fundamental human right to walk in the university hostel, if the university comes up with the regulations that no boy should be found around girls hostel another confusion will come up that Unilorin is a glorified secondary School.
UCJ: Trends show that most theft are carried out when students are busy with examination in the hall,(be it cut or written). What step has the sun taken to eliminate such?
Reedof: It is clearly expressed in the student hand book that students should go into the examination hall with only writing materials. If that be the case my advice to fellow unilorites is that we should only go into the examination hall with our writing materials and not with properties like phones, laptops… That if stolen will be detrimental to them so that we won’t create unnecessary opportunity for them to exploit us.
UCJ: Why do we lack functional CCTV cameras in our lecture halls? Don’t you think installing CCTV will reduce theft on campus?
Reedof: It’s a security matter not meant for public consumption yet but as we speak, the university is making effort to install CCTV in strategic location.
UCJ: What do you mean it’s not meant for public consumption?
Reedof: I mean it’s an information I won’t like to give you with regards to what you say, because I won’t like a situation where I will say they are working on it and eventually it doesn’t happen. It will portray me as a liar so all I will say is that the university is working tirelessly to ensure they install CCTV across strategic places in the university.
UCJ: How would you rate the security unit?
Reedof: I wouldn’t want to rate with a specific figure but all I will say is that, when it comes to alacricious response, they have been perfect, alatrocious in the sense that as I am here if I call the unit to say security we need your attention I’m the park, within three minutes, they are here, it shows how responsive they are, and their concern for students matter is a primary responsibility.
So as a matter of fact, they have been doing their best but nonetheless we can still have the better of the best. However there Is no way they wouldn’t have short comings, what I see as their primary short comings is one, old age and secondly, they need more personnel and I think the university management are working tireless on that and in due time I hope they get more personnel.
UCJ: Who would you blame for the rampant insecurity?
Reedof: Permit me not to blame anybody but we all have roles to play towards security of our lives and property as students, we need to be conscious oof our environment and as mentioned earlier, be a Liverpool fan, what do I mean by that, do not walk alone so that when those with evil intentions see us they would be discouraged. On the part of the university management and security unit, they also have roles to play by stepping up the number of personnel and also illuminating the university campus as there is a popular saying of our father that “oru lan Seka”, when those people see there is no light, they will always take undue advantage.
UCJ: Word of advice to night readers?
Reedof : Don’ot walk alone and be conscious security wise.