If there is a day an Awoite will pray not to come back ever again, among other days applicable to her, the midnight of July 12, 2019 will definitely be one of the pop-up suggestions. That unfortunate midnight was not only a terror to Awoites, but also to the university community, parents/wards, well-wishers, the Oyo State Government, and any rational human with a viable cerebral standing.
Just like a normal day it started and continued with love birds pervading into the shores of the night at several spots in the University of Ibadan Campus. Although situated at the far edge of the campus, Awoites and their respective lovers/ friend were not an exception to this normal late-in-the-night visitations. However, little did we know that all those merriments were just a mirage of what was set to befall the whole campus community that same night.
At about midnight, some of the girls had retired to the comfort of their beds with others engaging in an activity or the other. Unsuspecting to these innocent jewels, Obafemi Awolowo Hall was faced with unexpected and unwelcomed visitors. These visitors, thinking they had sovereign rights to the possessions of Awoites, stumbled upon the Awo premises to carry out their demeaning mission. In response to the unusual noise and scrambling, many Awoites sought cover and sanctuary for themselves in toilets, common rooms, under their bunks, and other very strange spots. Some adrenaline-driven Awoites couldn’t even fathom how they got cover, as there were reports of few girls jumping off the storeys; everyone rootled for safety.
Many would ask, was there no noise, was there no one to call for help, and was there no SOS signals to other parts of the campus? Due to the location of the hostel, before help could arrive, the gentlemen on the highway had had a wonderful time to themselves, carting away valuables including phones, laptops, and others. With some in tears, some in pain, some in fear, some still trying to figure out what had just happened, it was obvious that the night was never going to be like other nights to Awoites.
A year after this attack, nothing concrete enough has happened to get justice and no arrest has been made to put the burglars to face the wrath of law. This is a far cry from what the Oyo State Commissioner of Police promised after that unfortunate occurrence. Although some brilliant measures were enacted by the school management to tighten security around the Awo axis (and general campus environment) to deter any further attacks, there is arguably more that can be done to permanently end the menace and put those criminals behind bars.
It’s one year after, the armed robbers had left terrible scars unto the hearts of Awoites with many still remembering that midnight brouhaha, some with marks to show their children (and grandchildren), some with psychological pains that many persist with them forever. Its been a whole year now and the question still rummaging in the minds of UItes is are we still secured?