• Bemoan rot at FRCN Training School
By Tope Templer Olaiya
FOR students at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Training School in Lagos, who have endured and survived three armed robbery attacks in the last three weeks, they have unanimously decided to boycott lectures until maximum security is guaranteed in the foremost broadcast training institution in the country.
When The Guardian visited the training school at Ladipo bus-stop in Shogunle area of Lagos, activities were paralyzed, while students gathered in groups, discussing the incident, with many of the traumatized students, who witnessed the attack packing their belongings to leave the premises.
The students’ decision to leave the school followed a lengthy attack on Thursday night in which students’ belongings, laptops and mobile gadgets were carted away. Some female students were reportedly molested by the robbers.
The attack on Thursday was the third in two weeks. Previously, robbers had attacked staff quarters on the premises. Following the staff quarters incident, another robbery targeted the Bond FM Radio, a radio broadcast station sharing premises with the training school.
Last week’s attack involved the invasion of the female students’ hostel quarters and the administration block. It resulted in the hospitalization of an asthmatic student.
Staff sources said the robbery attacks were not new to them, but had become increasingly brazen and more frequent. According to an official, neglect of the property by the federal government had caused surrounding vegetation to become dense, thus encouraging criminal activity.
Formerly regarded as a prestigious training institution for aspiring broadcasters and journalists across West Africa, FRCN Training School is now seen as neglected and poorly managed. The large expanse of land in the institution was cluttered with weeds while hemp smokers loitered at the surrounding expanse.
Governor-General of the FRCN Training School for 2014 Batch B, Bamidele Olanrewaju, described the recurring incidents as a disaster and vowed that until adequate security measures are put in place, including a well-equipped medical facility, the school would remain shut.
“I wasn’t around when the robbery occurred because I had earlier rushed one of our students to the hospital who suddenly feel ill that night at 11pm. I received a call around 3am of the operation that lasted over an hour. When robbers struck the first time, management said it would be resolved. Nothing was done to beef up security.
“Again, they came the second time, and we were told to remain calm that everything is under control. But after this latest incident, where the female hostel was the scene of the attack, we have resolved not to take management’s excuses anymore by boycotting academic activities until adequate security and medical facilities are restored,” he told The Guardian.
Olanrewaju added that the entire school and the radio station require total upgrade. “If it took a media report to expose the rot at the police college in Ikeja that elicited public outcry and even a presidential visit before normalcy was restored, we are also seizing this opportunity to draw federal government’s attention to our plight.”