The incessant security concerns on campus has left many with little to hope for. While some students feel their safety on campus can no longer be guarantee – in the past, female students in private hostels have claimed to be victims of sexual, psychological and physiological assaults.
In an interview with the security management, that is, The Chief Security Officer (CSO), Deputy Chief Security Officer (DCSO) and the Operation Officer (OO) – Union of Campus Journalists, University of Ilorin, unraveled the miseries on the state of security on campus, the installation of CCTV, new recruits for the unit, security negligence by students and solutions to insecurity on campus.
UCJ: Can we meet you?
CSO: My name is I. M. Tijani, Chief Security Officer (CSO).
DCSO: I am Imran Balogun, the Deputy Chief Security Officer (DCSO), I am in charge when the CSO is not around.
OO: R. A. Ali, the Operation Officer.
UCJ: What can you say about insecurity on campus?
DSCO: There is no insecurity on the University of Ilorin campus. I can confirm that to you. What do you mean by insecurity? Is it a situation where by you have people panicking, running up and down, eh! I want to do this o, yesterday there was robbery o.
UCJ: In cases where gadgets such as phones and laptops that are being stolen, Isn’t that part of insecurity?
DCSO: Students phones are stolen among themselves. We are not suppose to be watching your phones for you, if a student from Oke-odo sleeps off while charging his phone is it the security that would watch over the phone for him? I hope You understand.
OO: Someone’s carelessness cannot be likened to the security.
UCJ: Are you saying there is no insecurity on campus?
OO: In a case where someone is either given bruises, struggling to take something from another person, that is insecurity or when you are sleeping in your hostel, instead of you to lock your window /door, you let it open and someone sneak in while you are asleep isn’t that insecurity?
CSO: You See, to add to that, there was a time students’ movement were restricted? But, our students now move freely.
DCSO: At night, come to this area (security unit) you will see them(student) tapping the server of this GTBank. They will sit there. It is recently we just told them(GTBank) to off their wifi or lock it so that students will read.
UCJ: What about cases where students lament about being afraid or possibility of being raped by guys ( for instance, the case of Arafims hostel last session)?
CSO: Has any lady been raped on the campus?
UCJ: No lady was raped.
CSO: Please, drop the question.
UCJ: Can you briefly highlight the basic functions of the security unit?
DCSO: To secure lives and property of the university community.
UCJ: Does that include using wipes on students? ( During the recently GNS exam conducted, students complain of security using wipes on them).
OO: It’s a lie. Did you get the number of students and the name of the security that used wipe on students? Let me give you a scenario when the immediate past SU President, Eminent was slapped by a lecturer, what happened? Was the lecturer not known? If students were wiped by security man, what happened to the security man?
DCSO: If it happened, the students must have been aggrieved and must have reported the incident.
CSO: We don’t have such record where a security man wipe a student, because no student has come to us to make report that he has been wiped by security man.
UCJ: It has come to our notice that most people who carry out theft are not Unilorite?
All three: That’s a lie, about 80 percent or almost all of them are student of Unilorin
UCJ: For those who are not unilorite, how do you go about this cases? Do you just let them go?
OO: No, their cases are in court, including our own students.
CSO: What happen normally is that if a non-unilorite is arrested for stealing, we refer such person to F division from there the DPO charge the case to court. If in court/police the person can be released on bail, it is not the security that release him on bail. We don’t bail here. But our students, we keep them here, within the school to face the SDC. Once they face the SDC, and are being expelled that is enough issue. But pending the time he will be arranged before the SDC, he will be within the university because they are our students. Until they have been dealt with finally.
UCJ: What are he major challenges faced by the security unit?
DCSO: The university has been helping us in one way or the other. They gave us some gadget to use. We are expecting some new hands anytime from now.
OO: Another one is the porosity, that means the leakage which the university is getting control over.
UCJ: What do you mean by leakage?
OO: That is accessibility. Because of the large expanse of land, the Fulani usually encroach into the university and some do cause havoc.
You know the university has been dealing with them. The case has gone to court within some time now Fulani intruders will not come to the campus again.
UCJ: In an interview with the SU president, when asked about CCTV camera, it was revealed that it is a security matter. Why do we lack functional CCTV camera in our lecture halls? Don’t you think that the installation of CCTV would reduce theft?
CSO: You said we lack functional CCTV, how do you know they are not functioning?
UCJ: We have actually seen one around, I ELH, but it isn’t functional because issue of theft still arise there?
DCSO: It depends on the direction of the camera. When issue occur you know the professioners can’t beat the CCTV camera. If it is the rotating type, it moves, there are those who move in before it comes back, even if it is a second, there are those who beat it and there are those who mask themselves and when such occurs a camera can’t unmask a person.
UCJ: Mask? In unilorin?
CSO: It’s just an example, mask does not necessarily means using cross or whatever object to cover your face you can do like this (putting five fingers across his face) can you know who I am? What am I doing if I do like this? I am masking my face.
UCJ: Does that mean the CCTV is functional?
All three : Yes
UCJ: And has it been effective?
All three: Yes
DCSO: I will advice you to go to NOC, when you get there they will be able to tell you where we have CCTV cameras in the school because they control it and we have our men there. There is another one at VC’s office.
CSO: With the one at LT1, even on phone we can view what is happening there – number 2, If they are not functioning I’m sorry to say it is students that is causing it not to. You know why? There are those of you who have hidden agenda, they like to do scenes as though they are adult, but they shouldn’t be doing it in the open.
OO: Students remove bulb because of their…Canal Nonsense and when you remove the bulb the camera cannot function properly.
CSO: Let me give you a scenario the one at LT1 picked 2 students, a lady and a guy they were romancing themselves, then they were only 2 in the lecture theatre and they were there for long for almost 30 minutes the two of them.
DCSO: The CCTV is functioning so we have one at VC’s office another one at NOC (that is the control panel) they cover everywhere so all the CCTV are functioning.
OO: When the CCTV is facing here (using hand gesture to denote one side) how do you think it will capture those on the other side?
UCJ: Has the SU been cooperating on security issues?
All three: They have been cooperating.
OO: They call us in the night 2:00am, 3:00am…and sometimes we call for meeting if need be.
UCJ: What is the required age for retirement of security personnels ?
All three: 65years.
UCJ: But we noticed we have less young men/women compared to the age mentioned?
CSO: How do you recognize a security man?
UCJ: They are usually on uniforms?
CSO: We have those who are not on Uniforms.
OO: They do undercover jobs.
CSO: We have young ones, so those we normally see, the aged ones, they are yet to reach 65, so you can’t expect them to retire before 65.
OO: Like I am, and I have joined the university since 1982 and I am not 65 years old.
DCSO: If you see any one that is old, he is yet to reach 65.
CSO: Both security man, drivers, portals, non teaching staff retires at 65 while teaching staff at 70.
UCJ: What advice would you give to students?
OO: They should listen to instructions from the security. The way they stay overnight without anybody, if a student stays in the classroom for a period of time alone, that could be unsafe.
DCSO: They should simply obey rules and regulations. When you obey rules and regulations the university will be safe.
CSO: They should handle their students hand book like their Bible or Quran. I some don’t open their Bible and Quran. But Students should make use of their handbook, any student who follows his student handbook from A-Z will not have any problem. And each and every students were given the student handbook on admission before the orientation day my advise to them is that they should be law abiding. Security does not harass a law abiding student, but whereby you want to test the strength of the security. There are those of you who remove their ID card. Like you are wearing your ID card nobody will disturb you or ask you to show your ID card secondly, the dress code issue is stated in the handbook, students should abide by the dress code.
OO: Securities are not enemy to students even we expect students to give security information so that there will be campus of peace and happiness. If students sees things that are wrong and they refuse to report such. How do we control that issue? Some of them see more than we do, because there are many on ground, so they can give security Information.
DCSO: Then you journalist should help the university, If you see anything going on, inform the security, I like as you have come here to clarify some issues the students gave you. We are very security conscious we have capable hands to handle the situation the problem is that students should cooperate with us so that we can achieve our goal.
OO: If you spend just 10 minutes here you will see cases we handle, lots of cases but you people will not know because you are not in charge.
UCJ: Can we have the general security number so that student can have access to it?
All three: We gave it already. During orientation.
CSO: Even there is leaflet but here it is 09053927816 at any time 24 hours this phone is never switched off.