No fewer than 10 female students have been raped and robbed when armed robbers invaded six off-campus student hostels at Ifite, near the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
According to sources, the hoodlums, numbering about 20 stormed the area at about 8:00 pm on Thursday, going from one hostel to another until 5:00 am on Friday, during which they robbed students of their valuables and raped some female students.
This was barely a few days after hoodlums also killed some security men and a 200-level student of the institution around the area.
It was gathered that the hoodlums have been visiting restaurants and bars robbing students and bar owners at gunpoint between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm on a daily basis.
This situation led to an emergency security meeting of the Anambra State Police Command, with the management of Nnamdi Azikwe University, the Student Union Government, and the commissioner for homeland security affairs.
The meeting which took place at the Vice Chancellor’s conference hall was aimed at addressing the recent security breaches in some of the hostels along Ifite.
A victim of the incident, who simply identified herself as Nkiru, told journalists that the robbers were heavily armed with guns, axes and machetes, adding that the hoodlums made away with their money, phones, laptops and others.
She said those injured by the hoodlums were those who showed some resistance when the hoodlums knocked at their doors.
“I was in my hostel when we had gunshots that lasted for about 10 minutes and most of us ran to hide at the back of some shops in the area. We are still struggling to discourage one of the female students that were raped from hurting herself further. She was a virgin and they raped her twice and we are holding her because she wants to commit suicide,” she added.
Another source added that residents of the area placed a call to the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, and shortly after the situation was calmed as some security personnel came to the scene around 6:00 am.
The state police spokesman, Mr Tochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed the incident, said the security operatives stormed the area as soon as they were alerted, adding that they were able to battle the criminals to a standstill.
Ikenga confirmed further that a joint meeting between the university authorities and the security operatives was held on Friday with a representative of the Anambra State government.
He noted that the command has since embarked on an intensive patrol, improved operational positioning, and deployment of covert operatives as a solution to the security situation in the area.
He said during the meeting, the police also emphasised the need for cooperation and actionable intelligence among the community members.
He said, “This meeting is aimed at addressing the recent stealing, burglaries, cult-related attacks, and other violent incidents in some of the hostels along Ifite. Some of the resolutions were that there shall be another elaborate meeting with the private hostel owners, the president of hostels, and other stakeholders, especially along Ifite.”
“Today, 20/1/2023, the Command, met with the management of Nnamdi Azikwe University, the student union government, and the Commissioner of Homeland Security Affairs in the Vice Chancellor’s conference hall at UNIZIK.
“Some of the resolutions include another elaborate meeting with the private hostel owners, the president of hostels, and other stakeholders, especially along with Ifite on the need to provide securities to the hotels.”
Efforts to get the spokesperson for the university, Mrs Gladys Ene, for a reaction, proved abortive as she did not respond to calls and messages to her telephone line.