Attacks On University Female Hostel: HURIWA Tasks Tinubu On Women Protection

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Following the spate of attacks in a number of female hostels in the Universities allegedly by gunmen and robbers, a civil right advocacy group has urged the federal government to respond quickly and address security concerns around the nation’s tertiary institutions.

The advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has pointedly asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to direct the Minister of Education, Mamman Tahir to liaise with the security agencies to tackle what it said is an emerging “terror pandemic” around the ivory tower.

HURIWA through it’s Country Director Emmanuel Onwubiko, specifically urged the Minister to, in collaboration with security agencies in the State , set up a special unit in the State Police Commands with clear instructions to curb incessant breach of security in the tertiary institutions and especially around female hostels .

Describing the frequent attacks on female hostels by armed men and
sexual predators as coordinated terrorism and a ‘national pandemic’, HURIWA insists that federal government should see the problem as a national priority to salvage what is left of the nation’s education, if not more important than securing physical assets.

In a statement by national director, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA noted that the nation has a notoriety for witnessing spates of attacks by armed non- state actors on University hostels lamenting that both the central and sub-national governments have failed to activate effective and pro-active counter security measures to check the menace.

“We find it disconcerting, that for many years, the tertiary institutions in Nigeria are being attacked and female students systematically raped and violated, but these heinous crimes against humanity have not received the kind of attention from the office of Nigeria’s President as it should. We wonder whether if the daughters of Mr. President, Ministers and governors are housed in these publicly funded University hostels, whether the government officials will be this negligent of the primary constitutional duty of securing these assets and keeping our children safe from armed invaders?”

Demanding urgent security taskforce to tackle this menace, HURIWA went memory lane to recall some of these attacks and particularly condemned the lack of action by government.

“On September 3, 2023, many University of Calabar students reportedly fled the campus following attacks by masked gunmen on the Malabor Republic hostels on Saturday night. Many reportedly left on Sunday as they feared the gunmen would return. The armed invasion happened around 9 p.m. on Friday and lasted over 30 minutes without campus security intervention. According to the Malabites, the gunmen successfully seized several phones and money belonging to the students in Hall 4. A victim, who gave her name as Helen Akpan, said, “The armed gang successfully operated in Room 228, 227, and 232, and was shooting sporadically. The sound of their guns struck fear and caused confusion”, HURIWA affirmed.

The group also listed other instances at University of Port Harcourt on August 24, 2023, where two blocks of hostels we’re attacked, University of Ibadan on January 6, 2022, Federal University of Lafian, Nasarawa State in 2018 where police confirmed two students killed and University of Uyo in 2019 where the attacker invaded the hostels with POS and robbed the defenseless students for hours .

HURIWA noted that since 2015 till date, over 6 dozens armed invasions of female hostels of University campuses have occurred in university campuses adding the present administration should activate it’s RENEWED HOPE, agenda by confronting the violent and predatory attacks on University hostels head-on.

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