UYO – Angry students of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Akwa Ibom State, Monday staged a mass protest over the invasion of the institution by unknown gunmen.
The incident, according to an eye witness happened between the midnight of
Sunday and lasted for 2 hours
Students preparing for semester examinations were said to be burning the late
night candles at the Onyema Ugochukwu Hall, the CBN Hall and adjoining
classrooms, when the incident occurred.
“It is always our tradition to do
conference reading within the campus starting from late night till the early
morning hours especially during examination time like this”, one of the victims
who pleaded anonymity told Vanguard. “We were still reading, when we heard a
loud voice commanding us to lie face-down or get killed, so we had to obey to
save our lives.
They immediately went for our laptops, phones and other
personal belongings including petty cash and jewelleries”, the female student
added. At the adjoining Annex campus, the gunmen, it was learnt invaded the
female hostels and carted away laptops, phones and cash. Some of the girls,
according to campus sources, were forcefully raped; especially those who could
not hurriedly put on their clothes at the time of the sudden invasion.
protesting students, who complained about the porous security situation on the
campus, recalled that such ugly incidents had been a recurring on the campus.
Called on the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Enefiok Essien, to improve security on the
campus, the protesting students decried the porous internal security mechanisms
on the campus, saying “such situation exposes students to danger”.
gathered from authoritative source that Police personnel are not allowed on the
campus because of past experiences where the Police were called in to quell
students protest, but ended up shooting students to death during the era of the
immediate past Vice Chancellor, Prof. Comfort Ekpo. “Even the internal security
personnel are not allowed to carry arms”, a senior management staff of the
institution explained, and blamed the collapsing security system on the campus
to inadequate personnel to man the school.
Worried by the development, the
management of the institution shelved the examination Monday to enable the
students shake-off the fears and be in the right frame of mind for the
examination. Confirming the incident, the Director in the Directorate of
Information at UNIUYO, Mr. Godfrey Essien, said the postponement would also
allowed management the time to analyze the incident with a view to devising the
best strategy to stop further occurrence.
He said management has been doing it
utmost to address security challenges in the school, assuring that adequate
security arrangement would be in place to safeguard the lives and properties of
students and the university community.