Students of Federal Polytechnic Ilaro have had to battle robbery attacks in their respective hostels off-campus. Within Nigeria spoke to some of them and they expressed fear over these attacks.

A backdrop into robbery attacks in FPI

Students of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State who reside off-Campus recently have recently reported cases of robbery attacks in their homes. On April 18, students raised alarm about these attacks and called on the Ogun State government and security agencies to rescue them from gunmen suspected to be armed robbers. Within Nigeria gathered that the reported attack on April 18 is one of many attacks that have greeted the student community.

Students express concern

I felt heartbroken hearing about the robbery attacks, Yusuf Omokhunde an HND 2 student told Within Nigeria

“I have been here at ilaro for the past four years and I have never experienced such. Hearing such news for the first time made me heartbroken and I was afraid we are all insecure ” he said

There were robbery attacks before now but the school and its environment are already peaceful, Temi Unique said

“We now have enough security men. Students no longer live in fear. The school is sincerely trying its best as promised. Robbery attacks have happened even before now” he said

No student is happy with the way things are here in ilaro, another student who doesn’t want his name on print said. He said the community has not just recorded robbery attacks but clashes by alleged cult gangs

“If you ask 98% of students in FPI right you’ll always get the same response. No student is happy with the way things are here in ilaro. It’s not only robbery but also killing. We heard about two people who were gunned down a few days ago, though it’s between the indigenes (cultists) still that news is always disheartening. We are all living in fear.”

Management aware of robbery attacks

The management of the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro has said they are aware of these attacks but not as escalated as reported by the media. This was contained in a statement signed by the Deputy Registrar, Public Relations, Sola Abiala, and made available to Within Nigeria.

The statement was made available a day after a stakeholder’s meeting held by the institution’s Rector, Arc Olusegun Aluko on Monday, 18th of April, to discuss cases of robbery attacks in student populated areas.

Present the meeting included security operatives, community heads, and students representatives.

In the statement, the management refuted claims that students were raped during the attacks and knocked house owners for not providing security for tenants despite the high rates being charged by them

“ There is an increase in cases of armed robbery in the town, but not as escalated as it’s being reported. There were no established cases of rapes being widely reported in the media, especially the social media platforms. Landlords /landladies/caretakers/agents do not always document the identities of their tenants with the institution, nor do they participate in the activities of the CDAs, yet they do not provide security for their tenants, despite the high rates being charged”

The management who bemoaned night crawling by students and the use of generators for 24hours daily also stressed that students have disrespect for the rules, regulations, and customs of the Polytechnic as well as that of the host community

“ Students are in the habits of night crawling, display of affluence, through the use of expensive phones and gadgets, engaging in free fraud practices, otherwise known as yahoo- yahoo and use of generators for almost 24 hours daily. students have disrespect for the rules, regulations, and customs of the Polytechnic as well as that of the host community among others.”

The management however imposed a curfew and urged Community Development Associations (CDAs) and Community Development Committees (CDCs) to provide solid security arrangements and work together with the government security agencies

It advised house owners to verify and document the identities of their student-tenants with the school authority.

“ Restriction of movement between 11 pm and 4 am, especially by students will be put in place with immediate effect and students should always have their identity cards with them at all times. All generators should be switched off, latest by 11 pm;

“ The management of the institution will not only publish the names of rusticated, dismissed, or withdrawn students but their pictures will also be widely publicized. Landlords, landladies, caretakers, and agents should endeavor to verify and document the identities of their student-tenants with the school authority”

“ They should also participate in the activities of the CDAs where they have commercial apartments and also assist in the security arrangements of their areas; they should identify tenants who are always indoors without going to work or school during daytime and report such tenants appropriately. Houses with more than twenty tenants should endeavor to make private security arrangements. CDAs and CDCs should put in place, solid security arrangements and work hand in hand with the government security agencies”

The management enjoined students to corporate with security agencies and called on security agents to intensify their patrol within the community

“ students should cooperate with the management, the community, and the security agencies in fishing out the bad elements within them. security agents should intensify their patrol of the community and ensure that some business people who have cultivated the habit of opening their businesses in the late hours should be prohibited from doing so.”