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BEFORE A CITADEL OF LEARNING BECOMES A CITADEL OF CRIMES

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  • a short case study of the premier university

It is fast becoming unbecoming of the University of Ibadan to record certain crimes in different waves and ways. The famous U.I. where I recently bagged my Masters Degree in Professional Ethics has produced great men and women of high intellectual statuses in different disciplines. No one needs to introduced U.I. to anyone before one realises its greatness. But what I sense right now is that the famous institution is losing its innocence, territorial integrity and serenity. Am I right at all?

My recent experience and the experiences of others would further explain the above stated submissions.

Just yesterday, February 8, 2020, I happened to be one of the invited guests at the wedding ceremony for one of the daughters of Mrs. Ogunjuyigbe Faleye Iyabo, a “sister” and long time newsroom colleague of mine at Radio Lagos/Eko FM. The venue was the famous John Paul II Events Hall belonging to the Catholic Church inside the sprawling premier university environment.

I packed my Mitsubishi Space Gear like others around 12noon with two bags and other personal effects in it. Between 12.30PM and 2PM when I needed to pick up my power bank to recharge my phone, someone had neatly and clandestinely opened the locked vehicle and took away a black bag containing my laptop computer (with its accessories), 2 professional Sony Voice recorders, a professional headphone, a New Age power bank, one Infinix S4 phone charger, one internet modem and vital documents.

I felt “empty” after the shocking discovery. One, because I’m so used to getting professional work done, easier, through these gadgets. Two, the sheer number of the items lost at once. Three, the cost of replacing them. And four, where I lost those valuables.

I’m more concerned about the location of the crime. When I checked, the U.I. campus community is becoming dreadful with stories of robbery, burglary, theft and other smaller crimes, some unreported or under reported. The night of Friday February 7, 2020, there were reports of three stolen iphones at the same venue.

This is why I’m using this medium to call out the University management to take security more seriously. While I’ve learnt a lesson or two from my personal losses and the widely reported cases of hostel incidents, I foresee a more daring approach by whoever these criminals on the campus are; be they students or pure outsiders.

To state it mildly, the U.I. community is too porous and easily penetrable by non staff and non students. For instance, the John Paul II Events Hall was left unmanned by the official school’s security outfit. This led to horrendous influx of miscreants, old and young, into the campus. Some came in as old women beggars, some as petty thieves. So, who accounts for anything done by these unwanted “visitors”?. Who knows whoever would be their target outside of event venues or within event arenas?

While making an official report of my losses, the security guys on campus simply told me that it’s not their duty to man the event facility since they weren’t told nor contacted to to do. Hmm! I found that curious, though I agreed to some extent. The police maintained the same position at the Sango Police Division where I also made an official complaint. The DPO didn’t forget to tell me that the Catholic Church and event organisers should have contacted them. Hmm! Several questions welled up in me immediately. But I’ll leave that for now in order to not geopardise investigation.

Let me state that with the calibre of high class guests U.I. attracts, with some of them even coming in without any notice to the authorities, the premier university campus should be made safer and more secure. For instance, yesterday’s wedding ceremony had very senior journalists, led by the NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo, in attendance. Many other unknown (to me) dignitaries also visited the university. So, with the explanation of the official university security officials, invited guests should have been taken care of by event organisers. Taken! But who is thinking about the name and image of the institution if and when negative events are recorded on the soil of the campus? Would someone just blame event organisers for “messing up” the revered name and image of the ivory tower?

People pay to use event venues. What’s wrong in making it compulsory for them to pay for security? Or, can’t money for security be added to the total sum payable, like the VAT? I’m just asking practical questions and by extension, making practical suggestions.

The University of Ibadan remains a citadel of learning. Before it’s turned to a center of crime and criminality, the authorities should brace up if they haven’t and if they have, they should double up and do more. By my own deckoning, U.I. should be a stronghold into which people could go for shelter during a battle – technologically, scientifically, socially, and in other spheres. This must not change. Crime is a social challenge, therefore, the social scientist, the technologists, the scientists and other campus stakeholders must stem the tide of negative development.

I have recorded personal losses. Some had recorded such losses before me. Some are probably losing some valuables as everyone reads this intervention. Some would lose valuables in the near or far future. The projected future losses would happen in bigger dimensions if nothing is done.

Post script:

Let no one say that what U.I. is experiencing isn’t peculiar to the university. The premier university isn’t just the first in birth. It should also be the first in solving social problems in Nigeria, lest a citadel of learning becomes a citadel of crimes.

  • Samson Akindele, for the good of the University of Ibadan

Sunday Saanu

Olatunji Oladejo

Tunji Oladejo

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Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga

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Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.

 

 

The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.

 

 

In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:

“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.

 

 

“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.

 

 

“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.

 

 

A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.

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Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture

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ALAAFIN

The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

 

 

The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.

 

 

PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.

 

 

According to a source, who spoke to  PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige;  a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu,  Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.

 

 

A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.

 

 

The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

 

The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

 

 

The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.

 

 

“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.

 

 

“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”

 

On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”

 

 

On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”

 

 

But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.

 

 

Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.

 

 

 

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NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital

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Bandits

Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.

 

 

Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.

 

 

“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”

 

 

“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.

 

 

“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.

 

 

“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”

 

 

 

Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.

 

 

“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.

 

 

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.

 

 

He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.

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