In recent times, this sprawling community has become a dreadful place to live. Residents sleep with their eyes half-open, ready to flee or raise alarm when they are being attacked by armed robbers or other evil machinations. The target people who have been affected by this insecurity, which if left unattended will degenerate into a dangerous trend, are mostly the University of Ibadan students who stay there because they couldn’t get accommodation on campus. As a matter of fact, students who stay in Agbowo cannot afford to pass the night there for fear of the unknown even when they paid exorbitant prices to secure housing in the area.
Agbowo’s incessant robberies have turned into daily grind for the thieves who are fortified with “arms, machete and charms,” while the students are helplessly lying between their books of salvation, and as their in loco parentis fold arms in disbelief or appear unconcerned even as the Students’ Union releases daily broadcasts and the security operatives go AWOL. Many students staying in that area have recounted numerous robberies they have heard or suffered from. As much as this is a situation that only the security operatives can deal with, the University of Ibadan should show that she feels the pains and tribulations of her students staying in this security-threatened area, and show efforts that she is collaborating with the appropriate quarters to ensure speedy sanity in Agbowo community.
While it is understandably that the halls of residence cannot accommodate all students, leading to some students seeking shelter outside the university community, we think it is expedient of the management to ensure that the location of her students off campus is where law and order are in place. This will be an attestation to the in loco parentis role the university plays. Over the time, this has not been in existence. What we have noticed is the university accommodating only the students she can accommodate, while shutting her eyes on the whereabouts of others as the case has often been.
Moving on, the fact that Agbowo is unsafe signals that the university should be at alert too. So, responding to the security issues her students face is taking a proactive measure against an alarming situation within the school premises. After all, the university has also witnessed robbery incidents in recent times.
As we said earlier, the university does not have the power to intervene in this crisis, but it can as a result of being a major stakeholder, plead and meet with the appropriate quarters to resolve this challenge. It should reach out to students staying in the area to ensure they are security-conscious.
The University of Ibadan could have an extensive with Agbowo Community, with the security operatives present, to discuss ways the community will be safe, secure and robbery-free for not only the students but even all its residents.
We also implore the Oyo State Security agencies to be nearer to this community. It is ironic that the nearest police station is farther from Agbowo. The community is in urgent need of the Amotekun and other state security officers to keep the lives and properties of the residents safe at all times. Protecting the lives and properties of the citizens and residents in Ibadan and the generality of Oyo State is an important responsibility of the government. This is not to retell the government’s responsibilities, but to remind them that Agbowo needs security and the state government should come to the reprieve. More trustworthy policemen should patrol this community during the day and all night, with effective and efficient collaboration with the community’s security men.
We also implore students staying in Agbowo to make sure they are security conscious, and should always be willing to alert the security operatives if they sense any danger.
We do hope this precarious situation is treated with the seriousness it deserves.