Students in Ogun State have raised the alarm over the abduction and killing of students in different parts of the country, expressing fear that the ugly trend might spread to Ogun State.
The fear of the students was not unconnected with the recent cases of kidnapping in the state, especially the abduction of two female students of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ayetoro campus.
At a press conference on Tuesday, the students, under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), said the current rate of insecurity shows that the government is deficient in providing adequate security for lives and property within its jurisdiction.
Addressing pressmen, the NANS Chairman in Ogun, Damilola Simeon, maintained that the last few weeks had seen a sharp upsurge in unrest, terrorist attacks, killings, and abductions; leading to drastic security degeneration in various parts of the country.
“Posterity will not forgive us if we as the leadership of NANS in Ogun State fails to highlight the downward spiral of safety in the country, especially as it affects the students’ constituency.
“To say the least, our constituency has always been vulnerable, exposed, and unshielded whenever issues of insecurity arise.
“This has culminated into many students now living in fear and apprehension due to the never-ending spate of kidnappings with students consistently being at the receiving end. It should be noted that over 1,157 Nigerian students have fallen victim to abductors in the last seven years,” Simeon stated.
He recalled that “it took the intervention of NANS, security agencies, and the Ogun State government to secure the release of the two abducted female students taken from Ayetoro.”
NANS said it was saddened by the killing of five of the abducted students of Greenfield University in Kaduna State.
“As if this is not enough, about three students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi were kidnapped on Saturday night.
“Just this morning, it was reported that some students of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) in Anambra, living off the Igbariam campus, have fled over the fear of a reprisal attack, following the killing of nine persons in Ukpomachi village, Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area, by unknown assailants on Monday morning.
“Perhaps, the most harrowing of all is the silence and seeming impotence of the government, both at the State and Federal level.
“It is time for government at all levels to prove themselves as
friend of the masses and as a friend of the Students’ constituency through decisive, strategic and holistic actions,” it was said.
The Ogun NANS leader mentioned that students of the Gateway Polytechnic, Saapade, and those of the Ogun State Institute of Technology, Igbesa, had become regular victims of armed robbery and sexual harassment.
In their message to Governor Dapo Abiodun, the students requested, within the next seven days that:
“All tertiary institutions in Ogun State be adequately protected and policed.
“The state government should immediately summon all heads of security and tertiary institutions to a security meeting to proffer ways of preventing such occurrences in Ogun State.
“A template of proper security be agreed upon at the end of the meeting”
Simeon emphasised that NANS and other students’ bodies will not hesitate to mobilise their members “to ensure that all schools in the state are shut down until we can guarantee the security of lives of our students.
The students added that “We hereby issue a 7-day ultimatum to the Ogun State government to do the needful. We shall be resolute at doing everything possible to safeguard our students and our campuses, irrespective of the circumstance.”