IT’s the ultimate stain — that the University of Ibadan campus is fast becoming a growth area for robbers wanting to make a few bucks and mug a few heads.
Or what can you call three robberies, around the same area, in practically two months?
That is absolutely unacceptable and the university’s vice chancellor had better sit up. Otherwise he might just pass as a chancellor of vice — or how do you excuse all these vices, the regular robbing and mugging of students, under his charge, in a campus that should be a sanctuary from the vice outside?
For many alumni and alumna, it’s a stain you can’t ever live down. How can a university that gave you everything — the very best in learning and in character, not to talk of cultivated bragging rights (no contradiction, Hardball can assure you!) — and on which campus you could trudge, throughout its length and breadth, in those halcyon days and nights, suddenly become so porous students now learn to sleep with only one eye closed? Abomination!
That porosity bucks about everything that suggests the university is a model for the outside world. That is the hallmark of the university providing solutions, to about every challenge the environment faces — the classical gown leading the town, to the proverbial promise land.
But this embarrassing siege bucks everything. If UI, the citadel, is under siege for common robberies, how can its faculty egg heads proffer solutions to the crisis outside its walls — or are universities no longer the society’s brain boxes again? Shame, especially for the Premier University, touted as first and best.
Yeah, the university authorities, it would appear, are at last waking up to the challenge. News reports talk of a partial curfew, between 12 midnight and 5 am, within which time-belt movements would be scrutinized.
They have also imposed restrictions on movements, particularly in the female halls of residence, temporarily controlling male access.
As a temporary measure, these are fine; and should be rigorously implemented. But curbing movements can’t be a permanent solution. It can’t make up for imposing a security shield that though allows unfettered movement 24-7, still sieves criminal elements from infiltrating the campus.
Besides, the Idia-Awolowo-new sports centre-Awba Dam sector, its proximity to The Polytechnic, Ibadan/UI common fence and its notorious porosity, need to be tackled fast, as most of those breaches happen along that corridor.
Give us back our old UI, where you could leave your room at any hour, no matter how late, saunter to your classroom in the Faculty complex; or even your departmental library if you had access, study to your heart’s content and return to your room, without breaking any sweat.
Indeed, security was the last thing on your mind, whether venturing outside or swotting in the sanctuary of your room; visiting the Arts Theatre to see a film or watch a play; or even partying anywhere you so decided.
Give us back our UI — the serene haven of safety and security, 24-7.