Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Confusion as Armed Robbers invade Uniuyo ...Cart away laptops, phones ...Students groan

Confusion as Armed Robbers invade Uniuyo ...Cart away laptops, phones ...Students groan


The University of Uyo was thrown into confusion on Sunday when gun men numbering about ten stormed the town campus of the institution on Ikpa road at night. The suspected robbers, THE INK gathered, made their way into CBN (a popular hall in the in the university) and immediately ordered all students who were having the usual night class to bow their faces.

A student who was at the scene of the incident explained that on entering the hall; they immediately blocked all the doors and ordered everybody to lie face down. According to her, “initially, we thought it was all a joke until they brought out guns. At that point, we knew we were in for the worse. They robbed everybody of their belongings ranging from laptops, phones and other valuable things. It is so painful because this is my first time of coming for night class. I only came because of today’s exam (yesterday); now, see where it has landed me. My new laptop is gone just like that.’’

Another eye witness account has it that after taking their time to rob students of their personal belongings undisturbed, they made their way into their car and made for the gate. A student reportedly charged at them, shouting that the security men should not open the gate, but that did not deter them as they reportedly overpowered them and zoomed off.

The incident, it was learnt happened around 11 pm while many students were deep into reading, apparently in preparation for examination. 

Meanwhile, students who were victims of the robbery attack are said to have moved round the school premises disrupting others who were reading. “After the sad incident, we had no choice than to make sure nobody was reading. We cannot be robbed while others are reading. No way,’’ said a second year student of the Department of English who did not want his name mentioned.

Another victim, Emen Etuk, a Direct Entry student of History and International Studies, while speaking with our reporter, explained that she does not know what to do again after losing her laptop and phone to the robbers. In a tearful eye, she said: “imagine me, what do I do now? All my documents and materials are gone. How are my going to read for the exams now?’’ she queried. 

It was also learnt that the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Enefiok Essien and the SUG president, Comrade Kufre Samuel arrived the University shortly after the incident in order to pacify the students. Their presence, it was learnt, did little to calm the students who were saddened by the incident.

The following day (Monday) which was to mark the commencement of the first semester examinations, students were seen discussing the sad incident in groups. Most of them called for the outright postponement of the examinations. They complained that they cannot go ahead with the exams because, according to them, they were not in the best frame of mind to do so.

One of them said: “It is better that the exam is postponed till further notice because we have been seriously affected. Personally, I am emotional down and I cannot even coordinate myself now. It’s so painful; now, where do I get money to buy another phone?’’

Most of the students blamed the security team of the University for not being proactive. They maintained that if students who only came to study for exams could be so robbed, it means nobody is safe in the institution. 

A victim who spoke with our reporter, on the condition of anonymity called for the immediate overhaul of the security team of the university. He noted that it is not the first time such an incident would happen at night in the university. “Just recently, some men also came and called out some students who were reading at this CBN to help them push their car as it was having a fault. Those that went never returned.’’

Most of the students who spoke with our reporter vowed never to go for night class again. Their position, they said, is borne out of the poor security situation in the university. They said that they will only recommence night classes if the security situation of the institution improves.

Meanwhile, the management of the university cancelled all examinations billed for Monday (yesterday) and shifted same to another day. It was gathered that the exams will still hold as planned and will instead begin today (Tuesday) as against the original date of Monday 13th February, 2017.

Efforts to speak with the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the university proved unsuccessful as he was said to be away when our reporter visited his office. His known phone lines were also not connecting at the time of filing this report. 

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