UI Students Abandon Campus Over Boko Haram
IBADAN, SEPTEMBER 15, (THEWILL) - The fragile confidence that had kept students of the University of Ibadan in their ongoing examinations since Boko Haram issued a strike intent last week finally frittered away this morning, as students reportedly began packing their luggage and vacating the campus.
Only yesterday, the students, led by Tokunbo Salako, the first Student Union President of UI in nearly a decade, protested the weeklong power outage (and consequent water shortage) on campus, disrupting examinations and ripping apart examination sheets in faculties where fellow students mounted some sort of resistance. But they also used the opportunity to berate university authorities over its handling of Boko Haram’s threat of attacks, wondering why authorities never deemed it fit to communicate with students in any way over the matter.
But today, there was a mass exodus of students from the campus over heightening fears of insecurity. According to a student of the Department of Theatre Arts who spoke to THEWILL simply as Funmi, “there were rumours that a letter was brought to the security unit of the university. And the next thing, everybody started saying that Boko Haram had gained entry into the campus. We wrote an exam in the morning, but all others have been suspended. There was popular understanding among students that bomb had been planted on campus, and it would explode by 3pm.”
Admitting that there were more than one account of the true situation, she said that students resident on campus were leaving en masse. “There is another version that some Boko Haram members actually worshipped at a mosque on campus, but Muslim students prevented their arrest. You needed to see the way people strapped their bags and hurried out of school,” she said.
However, Timothy Bamgboye a student of the Faculty of Law believes students who travelled would return soon. “The management has said that the examinations were only suspended and they continue on Monday. The threat Boko Haram letter that the management allegedly received stated that the attack would be carried out anytime between Monday and Saturday,” he said. “But I don’t know if management wants to use the opportunity to do something about the power situation, because the university generator has got burnt.
News of Boko Haram’s recent threat has altered the shape of movement in and out of the university as incoming and outgoing vehicles are now thoroughly screened by armed security personnel, spawning hours of heavy traffic extending to major parts of the town such as Ojoo, Iwo Road and Bodija.