Frightening security lapses at Fourah Bay College!
Two Milla Tanks provided by Government for the supply of water to the female hostels at Fourah Bay College (FBC) installed at Beethoven, one of the female hostels, were stolen on the night of Eid Ul-Fitri, 14th May, 2021. The hostels are manned by personnel of a private security company (Frandia Security) contracted by the college.
Investigations mounted by Sierra Express Media confirmed that on the night of the incident, there were no personnel at the nearby Security post, who could have intercepted the thieves. As a result of the theft, college security personnel have been deprived of their day-off even though some of them are deployed far away from the scene of the theft.
There have also been incidents of theft of air conditioners, computers and other property on campus and the latest theft of the Milla Tanks is just one of the results of security lapses on campus, which has become frightening.
Scarier, was the killing in cold blood of a lecturer, Oliver Smith, few months ago; police investigation is yet to point to the identity of the perpetrators.
Through its official mouthpiece, the college administration called on the authorities concerned to step up security by providing the campus with armed personnel; a call that can be aptly said to have fallen on deaf years.
To date, the public is yet to know whether arrests have been made or whether the college authorities themselves have taken measures to improve on the rather fluid security situation on campus.
The Chief Security Officer of FBC, retired AIG Nat Wellington is believed to have advised the administration to recruit additional security to man the entire campus. This advice came at a time when the number of college guards was dropping because of retirement, deaths and illness. The college has only one old-fashioned police post with a skeletal deployment arrangement including personnel from the Operational Security Division (OSD), who limit their focus on the checkpoint, leaving the rest of the campus porous. If the security situation remains vulnerable as it is now, life and property remain at stake.
Oliver Smith is not the only victim of hooligans who have made lecturers and students their prey. Another lecturer, Augustine Garmoh, also residing at Lower Faculty, has also suffered two attacks by the marauding gangs, believed to be the Mount Aureol Boys (area boys) residing in the nearby communities of Mount Aureol, Glouster and Leicester.
Their ringleader has not been identified nor has the base from which they launch their attacks been located. They take advantage of access to the botanical garden of the college, where residents of the three communities also known as Tree Planting go to fetch water.
FBC campus is too large for the handful of guards providing security. Check points are supposed to be mounted and monitored in real time if the life and property of residents are to be protected.
For this to happen, the call for armed personnel must not be treated with a pinch of salt. If provided, these personnel can be deployed to risk-prone areas of the campus to deter attackers.
Also, the suggestion made by the CSO to beef up security presence should be acted upon to improve the security situation on campus.
A word for the wise, it is said, is sufficient; safety on campus would continue to deteriorate if robust measures are not taken now.
By Amadi Abadi
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