By Mfreke Udonkang
An Akwa Ibom born Abuja based legal practitioner, Mr Edikan Ekanem who is also a contemporary writer on matters of public interest has petitioned the Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo over the alarming rate of insecurity in the University campus.
Ekanem as an alumnus of the university observed with pity and dismay how students have lately become victims of robberies in the university premises, specifically in the school hostels thus rendering the environment not conducive for studies.
In a four page (13 paragraphs) dully acknowledged letter dated 5th August, 2019, he formally called the attention of the Vice Chancellor to the situation of things in the university environment and urged him to take swift actions to prevent and arrest the situation accordingly.
The letter reads:
The Vice Chancellor
University of Uyo
Akwa Ibom State
PETITION OVER THE ALARMING LEVEL OF INSECURITY IN THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES AND A CALL FOR IMMEDIATE INTERVENTION
The above subject matter refers.
My name is Edikan Ini Ekanem, an Akwa Ibom born Abuja based Legal Practitioner and a contemporary writer, a proud alumnus of University of Uyo, currently serving my fatherland in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria; and on this premise i write.
Following my recent visit to Uyo capital city and the University Campus, I am impelled to formally write to draw your attention to recurring but repulsive and unjustifiable security threats and rampages in the University Community, especially in the Town and Annex Campuses.
It is no longer novel news that students in the university community have become preys to vicious and callous predators who keep harassing, robbing, bullying, injuring and maiming innocent students in the university community.
The Punch Newspaper on 2nd August 2019 reported that gunmen suspected to be armed robbers invaded female hostel (W6) of the University Town Campus on Wednesday 31st July 2019, stole undisclosed amounts of money, phones, laptops and other valuables items belonging to the students. Unfortunately, this incident in the aforementioned hostel was preceded by an earlier attack on female students by unidentified persons in the hostels which was confirmed by Akwa Ibom state Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon.
This is not the only infraction perpetuated in the university community as many others go unreported. Cases of robberies at the ATM posts situate at the University campuses, use of POS by the miscreants to rob students who are in possession of their ATM cards permeate the social media platforms and the practice is seemingly becoming a “new normal” as many professed.
Sir, it is settled that security, protection and preservation of lives and properties is always the primary function of a legally constituted government and authorities which i humbly believe that the government and management of the University is not exempted.
Expectedly, the institution’s security consciousness should impress and even attract students to seek accommodation in the hostel but unfortunately, reverse is the case. One wonders if students staying the University hostels do not have a relevant level of protection, what will then happen to those staying off the campus?
Furthermore sir, beyond the loss of valuables by the students, injuries sustained, emotional shocks, pains and trauma sustained by the students, the national image and prestige of the Institution is sluggishly battered, shattered and jeopardised. If the needful is not done timeously, students nationwide will be discouraged and deterred from seeking admission in the institution.
With due respect sir, if the campus was this bad, some of us would not have enjoyed going for evening and night classes without fear of apprehension unlike what is experienced in recent times. The campus is seemingly becoming a death trap to her students and den of criminals. It is quite unbecoming that the forbidden is now striving hard to form a new status quo.
It has never been this bad to the extent that students at their own instance and peril embark on protest to ventilate their misgivings and grievances in opposition to insecurity trend in the campus. It troubles my mind on how it got to this extent.
Our students who double as citizens of the country cannot continue suffering from this predicament when we have a duly constituted university management established under the extant laws of the Nigeria which at the exercise of her statutory powers can salvage and ameliorate this pitiable and worrisome plight. Their constitutional rights must be safeguarded accordingly especially in the university community.
Finally, i respectfully pray you to find and hold the present condition as being intolerable and hideous on our students, thereby issuing directives accompanied with decisive actions that will combat and override the present menace by our dear students. Injury to one is injury to all.
Accept my warm regards and assurance of the highest esteem.
Edikan Ekanem Esq
It could be recalled that Ekanem sometimes last year wrote a similar letter to the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria over the gory and deplorable state of one hundred naira notes in the country. Ekanem is politically neutral.