By Emmanuel Ugwu, Umuahia
Following the beheading of two students at their off-campus hostel in a suspected cult-related attack, the management of Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU) has adopted security strategies with host communities, landlords of private hostels and traditional rulers to protect students.
Vice-chancellor of ABSU, Professor Uche Ikonne, made this known on Friday at a press conference in his office.
He said that the management would partner all the relevant stakeholders to fashion out security measures that would checkmate cult activities in and around the institution.
Suspected cultists had on March 12 launched a reprisal attack at Chidoo hostel, hacked to death and beheaded two students who were in their third year. They also critically wounded a third person, who is now battling for his life in hospital.
“We are considering short and long term measures to curb cultism,” he said, adding that the ABSU mangement under his leadership has the capacity to rise up to the occasion and ensure that cultists were not allowed to pose any security challenge to the university community.
The VC said that it was possible for the suspected cultists to kill their victims because of the location of the private hostel in a remote place, which is about four kilometers from the campus.
He lamented that it has become fashionable for students to live in private hostels off-campus without the knowledge of their parents/guardians even when there are hostels in the campus with municipal facilities and adequate security.
Prof Ikonne stated that the same students who prefer to take up accommodation off-campus in quest for absolute freedom still come to the campus to read at night and by the time they go back expose themselves to danger.
He called on parents/guardians to make it a point of duty to know where their children/wards stay when they return to school, adding that the African society has not degenerated to the level where parents can’t call their children to order.