Danger of fe­male and male stu­dents liv­ing in same hos­tel

Daily Trust - - DIGEST - From Emma Elekwa, Awka

Norbert Onu is an un­der­grad­u­ate at one of the uni­ver­si­ties in the eastern part of the coun­try.

He re­calls that he was op­por­tune to be among those who lived in the same hos­tel with his fe­male coun­ter­parts all through the four years he spent in the uni­ver­sity.

Onu said that when he gained ad­mis­sion into the uni­ver­sity, he searched for ac­com­mo­da­tion and that the first hos­tel he was brought to was one co-habited by male and fe­male stu­dents.

His words: “I queried the ra­tio­nale be­hind the ar­range­ment as I did not find it com­fort­able, par­tic­u­larly in view of my fam­ily back­ground and upbringing where we were meant to view liv­ing to­gether in the same room with the op­po­site sex as un­ac­cept­able.

“As I made at­tempt to­wards search­ing for an­other ac­com­mo­da­tion else­where, I re­al­ized that most of the hos­tels had the same ar­range­ment.”

He added that he was forced to set­tle with the first, be­cause of the se­cu­rity and seren­ity of the en­vi­ron­ment when com­pared with the oth­ers.

An­other stu­dent study­ing English Lan­guage, La­didi Hassan, said when she tried to find out why most hos­tels in that part of the coun­try had such ar­range­ment, she was in­formed thatthesin­gu­lar rea­son was that of se­cu­rity.

She said, “I was made to un­der­stand that due to the inces­sant cases of rape, rob­bery, cultism and other in­se­cu­rity chal­lenges that char­ac­terised the fe­male hos­tels, the school au­thor­i­ties de­cided to al­low male stu­dents re­side with their fe­male coun­ter­parts, ar­gu­ing that their pres­ence would keep crim­i­nals away.

“If you ob­serve most of the hos­tels, es­pe­cially the storey build­ings, the ground floors are oc­cu­pied by the male stu­dents while the up­per floors are for the girls. It’s a de­lib­er­ate at­tempt to pro­tect and se­cure the sheep from the wolves,” she noted.

As sen­si­ble as that rea­son may sound, the ques­tion that begs for an­swer is, how truly se­cure are the girls in the hands of the boys who, as it were, are meant to serve as se­cu­rity per­son­nel to the fe­males?

A pub­lic ser­vant, Odenigbo Uche, said al­low­ing male stu­dents to live in the same hos­tel with their fe­male coun­ter­parts would only pro­mote promis­cu­ity. Nar­rat­ing his ex­pe­ri­ence while in school, Uche said that the in­creased cases of un­wanted preg­nancy and abor­tion recorded dur­ing his days might not be un­con­nected to such care­free liv­ing

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