It is not a new sound to the ear that Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) Ondo State students have been experiencing series of security challenges. Over the years, quite a number of cases related to theft, burglary and forceful extortion have been reported and this has always made students to be afraid of their own shadow at night and even during the day.
For a community to thrive and witness reasonable development, the importance of securing lives and properties cannot be overemphasized.
Akungba as a community that houses AAUA has been rocked by incessant cases of theft when the school was in session and due to the present Covid-19 upsurge in Nigerian, students are at home yet reports of burglary are being reported.
Students always claimed to report such cases to the appropriate authorities and hope that work will be done, as it is difficult to focus on studies when one’s life and properties aren’t secured. A feeling of dread that has made some students resolve to having roommates just in a bid to feel safe.
After the recent accident that claimed 16 lives in Akungba, some students took to social media to create a hash tag #SAVEAKUNGBA through which they listed some of the things bothering them and called for immediate attention.
THE STUDENT UNION’S PREVENTIVE MEASURES
It is on this note that the AAUA Student Union (SU) led by Comrade Obagunwa Olusegun after the meeting held concerning road accident, thought it necessary and on November 9, 2020 held a meeting with top security officials in the state to discuss ways to get out of the crisis rocking the university community.
In a statement released by the AAUA SU General Secretary, Comrade Joel gave a report of their meeting with security operatives. He said:
“Sequel to the various security issues in the University community, we (SU) met with some top security personnel in the state to discuss extensively on the possible way out of the crisis.
“We registered our displeasure on all security issues facing the community most importantly Medoline, Cele-Adefarati, Permanent site, some parts of Onireason streets amongst others which has actually become a den of criminal activities by some unscrupulous elements in the community”.
He urged the Students to desist from public show of their affluence, that is a public display of their wealth and to be security conscious as all hands are on deck to restore total sanity as regards the issue.
STUDENTS OPINION ON THE SECURITY MEETING
As the Yoruba adage says “Òun tò kò ju sènikàn éyin lò kó sèlòmì bi ilu gàngàn”, when translated in English means: “What faces a person will turn against another person just like a talking drum”. This correspondent had an interview with AAUA students to share their opinions on the issue.
When asked of his opinion, Franklin a student from the department of Computer Science said it was a welcomed development that the SU stood up to its task and went ahead to meet with security officials. “The excos are ready to work but need students support,” he said.
Franklin further expressed displeasure in the rate at which the incidence of burglary and theft has been recurring in the school community.
“These issues should have been resolved before now but it keeps repeating itself, well I want to appreciate them for acting now. We students should at least give them the benefit of doubt and allow them to know the loop hole and cover it to avoid future occurrences,” Franklin said.
In his opinion, Kola, a student of AAUA voiced his displeasure to the slow response the SU gives to their calls, he said:
“They didn’t answer when they ought to, and it’s painful that when we complained to them they only said they are working on it.
“In my villa what we did was that we were rotating ourselves, some will come to Akungba this week to stay and safeguard everyone’s properties while another set will come the following week to watch over everyone’s properties too”.
On the steps to take by the Student Union President, he advised him to give quicker response to the clamour of students whenever they call concerning security issues, and meet with students to discuss ways which they can be better secured.
“Even if he can’t visit all, he should visit at least 50 percent of places where cases of theft and burglary have been reported and assess the level of damages done,” he stated. This he believes will make the President have first-hand information about the situation and make him to better relay discussions to security operatives.
Kola also advised the Student Union president to meet with the Akungba Monarch and carry him along concerning the situation on ground: “He should meet with the king and express reasons why students shouldn’t be attacked by natives, because we contribute more to the economy of the town, our lives and properties must be secured”.
Explaining further, he said, “He should also inform the School management so as to make it an enforced law that any student caught in an act of robbery must be expelled”.
He is confident that this will help deter some students that are involved in the act of burglary and theft, which is a blow to the image of the 21st Century University properly called.
It is important to note that the Student Union was established to fight for the interest of students and is doing its best to reiterate its commitment towards the welfare and security of lives and properties of its members. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to safeguard the students.
The voices and clamour of Students must be carefully listened to, with quick response to their calls necessary, as it is a duty of the SU and the School authority to protect the student populace.
The certain measures said to be put in place to curb the nefarious activities of criminal elements in the University Community should begin to manifest, as this will make the SU to further earn, the students trust and make their minds to be at rest.