Students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK / NAU) living in the Ifite axis of Awka, the Anambra State capital have taken to social media platforms to call concerned authorities to the high rate of attacks, rape of females students by armed attackers in various lodges since the beginning of 2023.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Charles Esimone announced on Friday that the University had contracted the services of Private Security Operatives to protect students in the Ifite area of Awka.
Charles Esimone noted that it’s not the responsibility of the University to provide security for students living outside the school hostels in Ifite area but he observed that the armed attackers do attack the students when soldiers deployed to the area have retired home for the day.
There have been several protests online and offline over the incessant attacks in the University.
A Facebook user said that on Thursday night, the 19th day of January 2023, “there was a fierce robbery with heavy gunshots in a lodge named ‘JJ Palace’ at Yahoo junction. Though the security intervened in the later hours of the robbery.
“This robbery continued after the shooting of Daniel, a 200 level student of UNIZIK, while allegedly trying to recover his phone.
Over nine female students of the University were allegedly raped, assaulted, robbed when the armed attackers invaded six off-campus student hostels at Ifite, near the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
It was gathered that the armed attackers numbering about 20 stormed the area at about 8:00 pm on Thursday, going from one hostel to another until 5:00 a.m on Friday, during which they robbed students of their valuables, raped and assaulted some female students.
The armed attackers are said to have been visiting restaurants and bars robbing students and bar owners at gunpoint between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm on daily basis. basis.
The University VC, Charles Esimone while reacting to the security situation in Ifite said thus:
“The spate of insecurity around the Ifite axis where many of students reside gives the University Management a great cause for concern.
“As we all know, it is not the statutory duty of the university management to provide security around Ifite.
“In his press release, the SUG president rightly appealed to those responsible for securing lives and property to hasten up and provide adequate security for the students.
“While we wait for them to act, we have done a couple things to protect our dear students who are the reason why we are here in the first place.
“You would have noticed the presence of soldiers who patrol between 5 pm and 11 pm around the troubled area.
“We made that arrangement to arrest the situation.
“However, we understand that the criminals have shifted to acting from midnight to early hours of the morning when the soldiers are no longer patroling.
“We have therefore signed an agreement with a state-based private security outfit who shall provide all night long security cover for our students and they are expected to deploy in a matter of hours.
“I therefore appeal to the students to remain calm and be security conscious.
God bless and protect our students!
God bless UNIZIK!”, Charles Esimone said on Thursday via Facebook profile account.
On Friday, Charles Esimone said:
“Last night, I told you that in a matter of hours, a private security outfit will assume security duties at Ifite.
“The outfit has been deployed. With this measure in place, we believe that the security situation at Ifite will come under control while we work with the chief security officer of the state and the nation to bring permanent solution to the security problem.
“I wish to appeal to our esteemed students to remain calm.
“Students should also think well before they post any information online especially when it is not verified”.