Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, axis particularly areas along Lagos-Badagry Expressway (close to Iyana-Iba market) Okokomaiko (PPL) area, and the university gate on LASU-Igando road, are now a hotbed of violent crimes.
Clutching dangerous weapons such as guns and knives, hoodlums prey on unwitting passers-by in these areas—many of whom are students of the university, robbing them of money, belongings, and in some cases, inflicting bodily harm. An entrepreneur and 300-level student of Biology Education, Rukayat Balogun, suffered brutality at the hands of the criminal elements.
On June 24, 2019, Rukayat left her hostel at Idirogbo for CMS at about 5:30am to beat the rush hour. She planned to buy some goods for her customers being a retailer of male and female underwear. She was with her smartphone and N70,000. As she trotted phone-in-hand along Lagos-Badagry Expressway, opposite the university road, she felt a sharp pang on her left hand which she later found suffered a deep cut. Her attacker held an “iron object” to scare her.
Rukayat said her assailant tried to drag the smartphone from her wounded hand but wasn’t successful, adding that at that point she screamed for attention, forcing the robber to flee. A motorcyclist offered to take Rukayat to a hospital, but she didn’t get help from the first 3 hospitals they visited. She was eventually treated at a medical centre at 15 Olowo Tabutabu Street, Agric, Ojo. Rukayat said a few days later she was accompanied by members of the school’s student union to make a statement at Ojo Police Station. She appealed to the government to curb criminality in the areas.
Another 200-level student from Faculty of Arts, Joyce (not real name), had a different encounter which left her worried for the few seconds she was stopped by a stranger. On a certain Sunday last year before the lockdown, she and two of her friends were walking down to Iyana-Iba market to buy some groceries when a strange man accosted them.
Joyce said the man accused her of flaunting the colour of his confraternity, saying “You think say we wan toast you, I just wan tell you say na our colour you dey fly.” Joyce told Sunday PUNCH that her shirt was in fact multi-coloured. “I wore light blue mixed with grey and white that day,” she said. Joyce added that as two other young men approached them they ran away shouting. Luckily, they escaped unmolested. Joyce said she has avoided visiting Iyana-Iba market during evenings since the incident.
Besides, a 200-level student of Dept of Physics Identified only as Ayomide was not so lucky as he left school last week to spend the Easter with his parents at Agbowa. On Good Friday, Ayomide said he left his hostel by 6am so he could beat traffic. As he trekked past the university’s walls along Lagos-Badagry Expressway, 4 cutlass-wielding men emerged from the overgrown bush by the roadside.
The assailants inflicted machete cuts on Ayomide, leaving him with a wounded head and bodily harm. Ayomide managed to escape, scrambling towards the school gate wearing a cloak of his own blood. He explained his encounter with the deadly louts to the Marshalls (LASU’s security outfit) he found at the school’s gate. But despite pleas by the bystanders, the Marshalls refused to accost the robbers whom Ayomide believed still loitered at the crime scene.
According to Ayomide, his attackers robbed him of his two phones—an iPhone XR bought in March, 2021, for N175, 000, and Huawei Y6 (2019). Ayomide added that the hoodlums took away his new clothes worth N50, 000. Ayomide received treatment later that morning at the university’s clinic. He stated that he had been depressed and experienced nightmares about the incident since Friday.
Cassidy hostel Okokomaiko, accomodating a 300-level student from Faculty of Arts, Abdulazeez Oladele, was burgled when he was a freshman, losing his phone and laptop. In 200 level last year, as he returned to hostel from lectures on a Thursday evening, he and his roommates were attacked around a new generation bank branch at Cassidy, which is near the university. His roommates managed to escape but he wasn’t lucky. The hoodlums took away his phone and bag.
Abdulazeez didn’t report the incident. He insisted that “the school isn’t doing enough,” adding that, “students are even being robbed at PPL which is close to school, and even at Aiyepe Gate.” He urged the university authorities to work with the state government to ensure enough hostels on campus and to increase police presence around student-populated areas.
MORE CHILLING TALES
It was a frightening moment for a 300-level student from Faculty of Education, Habeebah Ogboye, and her friend, AY, also a LASU student, when thugs confronted them upon their return to Lagos from an excursion in Osun State on March 14, 2021.
They arrived Lagos some minutes after 10pm and were headed for Village, a bus-stop away from the university’s gate along LASU-Igando road. A portion of land lying between Village bus-stop and LASU’s gate at Igando road is often deserted. The driver of a yellow bus, commonly called Danfo, inadvertently drove both Habeebah and her friend past their bus-stop, and refused to reverse the vehicle. Both ladies had to walk to the Village bus-stop. Midway into the risky commute, two men sprang out of the surrounding greenery, and Habeebah said one of them held a dagger.
According to Habeebah, her Techno phone was collected by the attacker, and it was at this point that she feigned consciousness. This made the assailant abandon her for her friend, during which Habeebah fled the scene. The lout gave her a hot chase but soon stopped as Habeebah neared the bus-stop.
Habeebah told our correspondent that while running she accidentally dropped her second phone which she uses for bank transactions. AY who joined her at the bus-stop some minutes later told her the louts fled after the occupant of a vehicle parked nearby noticed the scuffle and turned on his car’s headlights and blared the horn. AY sustained mild injuries as one of the attackers wound a rope tightly around her neck.
By 7am next day, Habeebah claimed N70, 000 had been withdrawn from her bank account. She said it was unclear if her assailants found her lost phone or if it was picked by a passer-by. As she sat in a public bus on Tuesday March 17, returning from the bank where she went to request her bank account to be blocked, she noticed a dead body on same spot she was robbed the previous day. She opined the deceased was likely a victim of robbery, appealing to government to install street lights in the areas from the university gate at Igando road to First Gate bus-stop.
It was a bitter experience on 3 January 2021 for a 100-level student of Music identified only as Idowu, who was robbed around 7pm along the university gate while returning to school from home in company with some friends. According to Idowu, the robbers flashed a gun and several knives to cow them into submission. He said some girls observed the robbery and ran to inform the Marshalls at the varsity’s gate. Idowu stated that the Marshall didn’t respond, explaining they weren’t mandated to interfere with off-campus matters.
Sunday PUNCH learnt Idowu and his friends were robbed of their phones, bags, and clothes. He, however, stated that streetlights would help deter criminals, as areas around the university’s walls at Iyana-Iba become dark after sunset.
For Sulton Abdullahi, a 100-level student from Faculty of Social Sciences, he was robbed and stabbed in the hand with a dagger on 15 November 2020 along LASU Badagry Expressway, about 6:45 am. That day, he was returning to his hostel from a night-reading session when the robbery happened. Sulton said the conductor of an approaching commercial bus noticed the scene and raised the alarm, scaring the robbers away. He said an X-ray revealed a bone fracture while he spent over N40, 000 to treat the wounds, and nurses severe pain till date. He said, “My parents reported to the school authorities and police but nothing was done by school authorities.’’
A similar fate was suffered by a student who gave his name only as AbdulRasaq on Monday 5 April 2021, when the 200-level student of the Faculty of Education was walking by the school walls at Lagos-Badagry Expressway. An eyewitness said his attackers took away his bags and phone “and left cuts all over his fingers and close to his jaw.” It was learnt AbdulRazaq was returning to his hostel from Easter break when the attack occurred.
Accounts by two students who spoke on condition of anonymity said attackers used intimidation to subdue their victims. Both students were robbed close to the university gate on the expressway. They disclosed that 2 hoodlums who fleeced them of their phones first accused them of wearing shirts with the colour of their confraternity while claiming their other members were nearby.
The hoodlums insisted on checking their phones to be sure they weren’t cultists; upon satisfying themselves, they asked them to buy drinks before they would release their phones. “We both went to buy the specific drink each of them requested and when we returned to tell them we couldn’t get the drinks, they had fled with our phones,’’ one of them said.
An ex-student of Dept of Microbiology, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was attacked during his freshman days as he tried entering the campus via PPL gate at about 8 pm. He said the Ojo area, where LASU is sited, is generally unsafe. He claimed criminal elements in the area come from “Alaba Rago” at Alaba International Market.
A final year student of Dept of Political Science, Ganiu Oloruntade, said the school should organise better orientations for freshers to intimate them on areas to avoid. Ganiu noted he was also a victim of robbery around the school area on the expressway while he was in 100 Level in 2017.
SCHOOL AND POLICE REACT
Speaking with Sunday PUNCH, Spokesperson for the varsity, Mr Ademola Adekoya, noted the security challenges faced by students of the university. He said the university had taken measures to curtail the menace, such as advising that students avoid entering campus earlier than 6 am and leaving later than 6 pm. Adekoya added that the Marshalls weren’t mandated to dabble in security issues outside the university.
On lack of streetlights along the school walls on the expressway, he said the ongoing road construction made it impossible to install streetlights since it would likely be removed as construction progressed. He further said the state environment ministry disallowed such installation in the area due to the ongoing construction. He said the Chief Security Officer of the University was holding talks with the DPO of Ojo Police Station to tackle insecurity in the identified areas.
When contacted, spokesperson for the police in the state, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, said the command had been arresting hoodlums terrorising people on the highways across the state and would sustain the raids. He said, “We arrest those bad boys on a daily basis. The command wishes to urge students and their unions to work with the police formations around them to beef up security in the areas. Many of the bad boys are in our net and we will pick more.”
JAMB To Extend Registration Deadline As Candidates Grapple With Difficulties
Barring last minute change, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) will announce the extension of the deadline for the ongoing registration for its 2021 unified tertiary matriculation examination (UTME) and the direct entry (DE) programme.
This decision may not be unconnected to the difficulties being experienced by candidates in their attempts to generate the required codes towards setting up profiles using their unique national identification number (NIN).
PREMIUM TIMES has exclusively learnt that as of Wednesday afternoon, roughly 72 hours to the May 15 deadline set by the examination body, only 1,012,000 candidates have so far registered for the UTME and about 30,000 candidates for the DE programme.
This figure is low when compared to about 1.9 million UTME and 200,000 DE candidates already captured within the same period in 2020.
Investigations revealed that as of Wednesday about 600,000 prospective candidates, who have initiated the registration process, are yet to receive the required codes meant to be transported to their mobile lines by the network operators.
Some officials of the examination body, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES confidentially, claiming they were not authorised to speak on the matter, said the problem is caused by the adoption of the mandatory use of NIN for the registration.
“The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) that is responsible for the issuance of NIN is expected to generate the linked number to be transported to candidates as soon as they input their required USSD code. But this has been difficult for the agency due largely to inadequate manpower and lack of required technical skill,” one of the sources told our reporter on the phone.
Another source blamed the mobile telecommunication operators for the delayed response to transporting codes generated to candidates, saying this is the worst outing being recorded by JAMB since the adoption of the USSD system in its registration.
Some ad hoc staffers of the examination body, who were meant to register using the same procedure ahead of the examination, have also expressed frustration in their attempts to be registered for the exercise.
“We keep sending the codes to 55019 as instructed by JAMB but the response is always that it is being processed and that we should await SMS. But the SMS never comes even after more than 48 hours. I can now imagine the problem the prospective candidates are going through,” an ad hoc staffer who does not want to be quoted told our reporter on the phone.
Meanwhile, a parent, Bassey Udo, who was trying to change his son’s course of study for the ongoing 2020 admission at a university, told our reporter on the phone that even after paying the required fee, the one-time password (OTP) required to complete the transaction has not been received for more than three days.
“Till now we cannot complete the transaction. I spoke to MTN and I was asked if I had activated the “Do not disturb” system on my line. But they found out I did not. So they concluded there was no basis not to receive a message from a third party. But still, the situation has remained the same. I don’t know what would be the fate of this boy if we are unable to complete the task,” Mr Udo told our reporter.
JAMB keeps mum
Meanwhile, the director of public affairs and protocol for the examination body, Fabian Benjamin, refused to comment on the matter.
He said he would respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ enquiry ‘soon’. His promised response, however, did not come as of the time of filing this report.
It would be recalled that JAMB had earlier scheduled its mock examination for April 30 but later rescheduled it to hold on May 20. The abrupt change might not be unconnected with the difficulties being experienced in the registration exercise.
Meanwhile, a highly placed source in the agency who does not want to be mentioned told this newspaper that the best solution would have been to waive the use of NIN for candidates.
“If we do that, I can assure you that in two days the whole exercise would be completed. But we cannot because the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy was impressed by our efforts and has even written appreciation to our supervising ministry and also to the federal executive council. So we cannot backtrack on that for now,” the source said.
The examination body is billed to meet with ‘stakeholders’ including members of various groups such as civil societies and media ahead of the examination.
Network operators deny culpability
Meanwhile, the mobile network operators have denied being responsible for the challenges being faced by candidates in their efforts to be registered for the examination.
The operators’ umbrella body- Association of Licenced Telecommunications Operators in Nigeria (ALTON) said its role is ”simply to transport the codes to the candidates and not to generate”.
In his response to our reporter’s enquiries, the association’s chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, said the delays cannot be from the systems of the telecommunication companies.
“Telecommunication companies don’t manage the process of generating the code for candidates, we only provide the “transport” access to their servers and we rely on the examinations agency to generate the code. We don’t manage their database and as such we’re not responsible for generating the said examination code,” Mr. Adebayo said.
When confronted with the claim of the existing generated codes ”yet to be transported”, Mr Adebayo said; “If the codes are generated and their servers do not upload them to the operators, there would be nothing on the link to deliver. Operators are just a medium of transport, and if their servers don’t deliver the codes, the link (transport) will be empty. Maybe there’s something they’re not saying. Ask them again and let them show a proof!”
NIMC fails to respond
When reached for reaction, the authorities at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) failed to respond.
The agency’s head of corporate communications department, Jamila Ahmed, who failed to pick many calls sent to her telephone line later responded to our reporter’s message that she was on leave.
Ms Ahmed also directed our reporter to speak to a man identified simply as Kayode.
But efforts to reach Mr Kayode were not successful as his provided mobile telephone line did not go through. A message sent to the number was yet to be replied as of the time of filing this report.
Osinbajo: The Economic Future Of Our Nation Is Extremely Bright
It’s the first in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the three such cutting-edge facilities on the continent, with top prime global certifications for smart card manufacturing and it is based in Lagos, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, relished yesterday afternoon while touring SecureID company’s premises, and affirmed Nigeria’s extremely bright economic future, which he said cannot be aborted despite current challenges.
According to him, “the economic future of our nation is extremely bright. Yes, we have challenges today and they may look daunting. But let me assure you that these issues will be resolved. The march of this nation to its manifest destiny as Africa’s leading economic power will not be aborted. We are more than able to overcome.”
An impressed Prof. Osinbajo said the Buhari Administration in “following the recommendation of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, has determined that manufacturing will be our main focus in bringing about dynamic growth, jobs and exports. This will mean retooling our business environment for greater competitiveness, especially with the take off of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
“We are rethinking our tax regimes, sorting out external and internal trade issues, getting our regulatory authorities; SON, NAFDAC, and even Customs, to see their roles more as business facilitators rather than policemen or revenue generators. Our environment must be friendly for local businesses first, foreign investments will follow enthusiastically.”
Commenting on the efforts of the administration to position the country as a leading economic beacon on the continent, the VP also stated that the Buhari administration was ramping up efforts in improving the country’s infrastructure and digital space.
He said, “aside from the work we are doing with other infrastructure such as rail, roads and power we are committed to a plan of democratizing broad band connectivity. Our programme, which we have reiterated in our Economic Sustainability Plan, is broadband connectivity for all by 2023.
“The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy launched the National Broadband Plan which is designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria of a minimum 25mbps in urban areas and 10mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population at affordable prices by the target date. Broadband connectivity is as important as electricity in the digital age unlike electricity we do not have to make several mistakes before getting it right.”
While commending the efforts of the founder and Managing Director of SecureID, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, Prof. Osinbajo described SecureID facility as a place of history, innovation and creativity.
He said, “This world-class manufacturing facility is reputed to be the first certified smartcard manufacturing plant in sub-Saharan Africa, the only smart card production and personalization plant in West Africa and one of only six on the continent and one of only 80 in the world.
“The facility serves 21 countries across Africa and is fully certified by major commercial card companies – VISA, Verve and MasterCard. SecureID has shown that this country can be at the cutting edge of development in technology and digital enterprises. The world in which companies like SecureID operates, providing comprehensive end-to-end payment, identity management and digital security solutions is one that thrives on innovation.
Continuing, the VP said, “the company has in these few years of her existence provided notable innovative offerings to the financial services sector, telecommunications, government, education, healthcare and private enterprises. Equally remarkable is the fact that with this facility, the company can produce all the payment cards, SIM cards, loyalty cards and the various identity management cards (residency cards, voter registration cards, drivers’ license and national identity cards) required here in Nigeria, with capacity to spare.”
“Congratulations also for your successes in getting the certifications that will help to meet the demands of customers, such as Global System of Mobile Applications (GSMA), Visa International, MasterCard Incorporated, Verve, Card Quality Management (CQM), and ISO 9001/2015 for Smart Card Manufacturing and Personalization of credit and debit cards.
“In particular, we must also congratulate SecureID for earning the GSMA certificate last year; this is a world class security requirement for SIM card manufacturing and personalization. Your rapid expansion is also worthy of commendation, especially as you have added a number of subsidiaries, one of which is the digital arm of the business: SID Digital, while the other is involved in transport payment infrastructure. This has put the company in good stead to provide services ranging from identity management to tax collection, school management systems, health management systems, digital cards for the banks and, of course, e-ticketing for all forms of transportation, including road, rail and water.”
Speaking earlier at the event, the founder of SecureID, Mrs. Kofo Akinkugbe, highlighted the significance of the Vice President’s visit, noting that the VP has come to see some of the much-touted potential being realized. She added that SecureID was a good entrepreneurial story of an abiding faith in God and the nation, proving the viability of investing and staying in the course.
Akinkugbe commended the federal government for establishing institutions and agencies to support and encouraged start-ups, MSMEs and other enterprises that had offered assistance to the company.
In his remarks, the representative of the Bank of Industry, its Executive Director, Mr. Simon Araronu, said he was excited to partner with SecureID, being a pioneer of world-class status in the industry, as well as making world class products, while generating foreign exchange earnings and creating jobs.
Others who spoke at the event were the Corps Marshall, Federal Road Safety Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi; Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Shobo.
The representative of the Governor of Lagos State, His Lordship, the Anglican Bishop of Lagos State, Bishop Humphrey Olumakaiye, alongside other top government functionaries, also attended the event.
Accompanying the Vice President were the Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada; Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Ade Ipaye; and the Economic Adviser to the President in the Office of the Vice President, Ambassador. Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu.
*Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity*
*Office of the Vice President*
*12th May, 2021*
Nekede Poly Student Beaten To Death By Her Boyfriend (Photo)
Jennifer Chinemerem, a native of Emeabiam,Owerri West LGA & a student of Federal Polythecnic Nekede, Owerri, (dpt of office tech & manageement)was allegedly beaten to death by her Boyfriend in Ihiagwa, Owerri West LGA.
Jennifer Chinemerem, a native of Emeabiam,Owerri West LGA & a student of Federal Polythecnic Nekede, Owerri, (dpt of office tech & manageement)was allegedly beaten to death by her Boyfriend in Ihiagwa, Owerri West LGA.#ImoSocials
Credit @nonsonkwa_uba pic.twitter.com/1FGYFEr7FO
— Imo Socials (@imosocials) May 10, 2021
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