PERCEPTIONS ON VIOLENT CRIMES IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKKA
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
- BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In the years of Nigerian Political independence, when there were few tertiary institutions in Nigeria, little was known about violent crimes existing in these institutions. Even in the genera! society, the spate of violent criminal activities was iow. Tertiary institutions especially the Universities were truly “citadel of learning”. Those who could not afford to train in these institutions envied undergraduates. Graduates were honoured in the society, and they wasted no time in getting good joes. They were seen as the epitome of knowledge and integrity, partly because they had been educated like the “white-man” and partly because they had been trained in an environment that was less prone to violent crimes, and sc, they did not have criminal tendencies (OdiaKa, 1996:9).
The situat -n in our tertiary institutions today ,s quite different from what it used to be about three or four decades ago. Undergraduates of higher institutions are literally or seemingly besieging their campuses with numerous acts of indiscipline. Their angry shouts of rebellion and violent protests and sometimes destructive actions bear stark witness to the intensity of the growing sense of frustration arid hopelessness.
Violent crimes germinate and thrive in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria. Ezihe (1993:2) noted that Universities and polytechnic campuses in most parts of the country a. a nov/ battlefields where all sorts of violent crimes take place. Such violent criminal acts include robbery, murdar, violent rape, stea.ing, burglary, assault, violent demonstration, assassination, car snatching at gunpoint and the dreaded activities of the cultists Ezike further observed that most of the violent crimes in our tertiary institutions ore basically the handiwork of student cultists.
Nchekwube (1999:17) stated thai violent crimes in tertiary institutions such as homicide, rapes, burglar/, office, home and store- breaking offences are now at alarming proportion. He further said that these violent criminal acts have adverse consequences on the academic and social progress of both the University communities and th -s general society. It is against this background that this study is set to examine the nature and pattern of violent crimes n tertiary institutions in Nigeria with particular reference to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka campus, Vv’ith the view to identifying the causes, and social implications for vhe institution in particular, and the Nigeria society in general.