Students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) residing in Elekahia community, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State have raised an alarm over what they termed the growing criminal activities in the area.
The students said they are constantly being robbed of their valuables and cash by armed robbers who operate freely almost on a daily basis, saying the hoodlums have turned the once peaceful area into a living hell for them.
National Secretary, National Union of Rivers States Students (NURSS), Fubarah Enoch Stevens and National President, Opobo Student Union, Ogolo Victor, respectively, disclosed this during a live radio programme monitored in Port Harcourt.
Stevens said many students who reside off campus had relocated to Elekahia because of the constant power supply experienced there as well as the peaceful ambiance of the community, but that of recent, they hardly sleep because of constant gunshots by criminals.
“Elekahia was a peaceful community before now. So many students relocated to this area because of the constant power supply and peaceful environment. In a day, you can boast of eight hours of power supply.
“The volatile area students used to know was Aluu, but since the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Monitoring Team was deployed to Aluu, peace has returned there. Aluu is like a safe haven now with students going back there.
“Right now, it seems most of these criminals have relocated to Elekahia. We hardly sleep with our two eyes closed. They rob freely almost every night. They come into a compound, rob from room to room freely with machetes and guns; steal money, phones and laptops.
“They even rape our female students and do all sorts of things. We hear gunshots almost every night, and as a student, you cannot have rest of mind to even concentrate on your studies in such a situation.
“We just concluded our exams, and I know what we passed through because we live in fear.
Over 80 per cent of the lodges where students occupy in Elekahia do not have security.
“So, we are calling on the Federal Government to come to our aid. We are begging the IG to replicate in Elekahia what he did in Aluu”.
Asked if the matter was reported to the police, he answered in the affirmative but said the response from the security operatives were usually slow, adding that the Dean of Student Affairs in the university and the students union have been notified of the development.
“In most occasions before the police come, the criminals have left with their loot. The police are doing their best, but they can do better”, Stevens said.