For close to 3month now, the students of the College of Health Sciences, Okofia-Nnewi campus have not known peace. The students of the College live in perpetual fear of harassment, burglary, armed robbery attacks from men of the underworld.
The robbers who are usually armed with daggers, guns, machetes etc specialize in burglary, snatching of bags, stealing of phones, laptops, tablets, cars, motorbikes etc at gun point, and even stealing during evening classes(night class) when students come to read overnight.
According to a student of the college who spoke on condition of anonymity, valuables worth millions of naira have been stolen by the thieves since august, 2015. These valuables include a car, motorcycles, laptops, tablets, phones, generator sets, money etc. She also lamented that several lodges have experienced the terrifying attack of the robbers including New heaven lodge, Ivy crystal, Madonna extension(Unity), Grand villa, Villa park, Good shepherd, Triumphant city. Mega lodge etc.
In her words, “The serial robbery started while we were writing our semester exams around august when student was robbed of her car and escalated during the vacation period.” She said that MBBS students, nursing students are still in school in order to enable them prepare for their professional examinations. “We are no longer safe in this community. We are no longer safe even inside our classrooms. We now live in fear everyday because nobody knows who will be the next victim.” She added.
One of the medical students who looked obviously infuriated by the situation urged the Commissioner of Police, Anambra state to as matter urgency deploy mobile policemen to the village to ensure the security of lives and property. He also informed us that the university management was aware of the situation and has promised to inform relevant security operatives.
The College of Health Sciences is the medical campus of Nnamdi Azikiwe University. The college has 3 faculties and 8 departments including Medicine, Nursing, Radiography, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Physiotherapy, Anatomy, Physiology and Environmental health (diploma). The roads leading to the College are almost are in a bad state and a proposed hostel project was seen abandoned by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Ongoing projects within the Campus included the internal road project, Faculty of health science building, Classroom blocks and an administrative building (donated by Dr. Cletus Ibeto).
We urge the Police to swing into action to put end to what can best be described as a serial robbery attacks by deadly and desperate robbers. Our future doctors, nurses and medical personnel deserve to study in a conducive environment and not in an atmosphere of fear.