Cases of burglary now surface in Agbowo after armed robbery is at its minimal


By Ogunrinu Olanshile

June 16, 2022 was Brain’s first time spending the night in Agbowo, He got to Ibadan that evening around 7:43pm. He is a student of the University of Ibadan who had left the city since the commencement of the industrial strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), but came to participate in the activities of the NGO he is volunteering for, and was staying with his friend in Ajetumobi area of Agbowo for the night.

A nightmare stirred him awake around 3am and on waking up, he was unable to find his gadgets: his mobile phones, laptop, camera and softbox. He woke his friend up and on looking around, they found out that the burglary proof and net had been cut. It dawned on them that they had been robbed like many other students living in the environment.

“We were so afraid that we couldn’t stay in the room again, we had to pass the remaining night in the corridor and went to Sango Police station in the morning to make a report and I was told I would be informed if there is any development and up till now, I’m yet to get any information,” Brain said.

Agbowo, like many other communities – Barika, Orogun, Ajibode, Ojoo- in the environs where students of University of Ibadan living off campus reside, has been rife with insecurity in recent times. There have been several reports of students getting robbed, losing properties and sustaining injuries in the process, and sometimes death. The increasing spate of attacks forced the Student union government of the University to write an open letter to the Oyo state government early this year demanding an end to the frequent attacks.

The letter generated controversies then, as the government, through the Special Assistant to the Governor on Student Affairs, Victor Olojede, slammed the Union claiming the tone is “harsh” and tagging it “uncalled for and unjustifiable”. However, the government promised to beef up security around the areas and provide long-lasting security assurance in the communities. Series of meetings were also constituted by the government which had the former Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, the Chief Security Officer of the University of Ibadan, Victor Fadeyibi and the representatives of the institution’s Students Union Government, and other stakeholders in attendance.

Months later, there are fresh cases of burglary in these areas, albeit very few. Students, to a certain extent still feel unsafe as they are still getting their apartment burgled.

“It was around 4am on a Sunday morning, a loud bang on a door woke me up, which was accompanied with the barking order of ‘move it, move it’, the loud bang continued which tells they were breaking into rooms one by room. Voices of screaming girls jolted me as I ran to hide inside the toilet which entrance is kind of concealed with two wardrobes belonging to me and my roommate. They finally got inside my room where they used torchlight to search everywhere and made away with my roommates’s laptop,” she narrated.

Oyindamola, a fresh student expressed worries about returning to Agbowo after ASUU strike. The worries stemmed out from the terrifying robbery incident she experienced sometimes in April at the private female hostel she stays in, in Agbowo.

“It was so traumatic. I’m so terrified of Agbowo now and I’m not really looking forward to go back to my apartment after this strike,” she said.

The government has taken certain measures towards curtailing the activities of robbers in these areas. There are security agents seen stationed at UI gate and some patrol parts of Agbowo at night. However, the unending cases of students losing their properties is making the people to lose trust in the government. Most victims do not report to the police because of the mistrust and some, in the case of people like Brain, who reported to the police since the 17th of June, do not get any good response.

“I’ve heard nothing from the police since I reported almost a month ago. I’m just trying to get my mind off the incident,” said the student photographer who lost his photography instruments to the burglary.

When reached by this reporter, Adewole Yinka, the Student Union president of the University said incidents of robbery has reduced in Agbowo and other student communities.

“As far as Agbowo and other student residential areas are concerned, the issue of robbery is at a minimal level,”

He, however, advised students to avoid moving late at night in Agbowo while also explaining that the union is meeting stakeholders concerning the insecurity.

“I met with the new Oyo state commmissioner of police last week Friday concerning the issue of insecurity.” He said.

While reacting to the development, Victor Olojede, the special assistant to Oyo state said the government has done considerably well in tackling the insecurity in the community.

“Governor Seyi Makinde as the chief security officer of Oyo state has deployed all machinery to tackle the situation in Agbowo and environs, you cannot hear of armed robbery cases in Agbowo again. While the cases of burglary is a new development, the government will ensure the community is fully secure,” he asserted.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Oyo state police command said only the state commissioner of police can comment on the issue and he cannot provide any information on it.

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