By Promise Eze

Abdullahi Fodiyo Library Complex is an exotic, well structured and properly equipped library. Situated at the centre of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University main campus.
This complex holds a plethora of academic resources which provide succour to the mind of many students seeking knowledge and a comfortable place to study.

However, for students to enter and read in the library, they have to drop their bags at the library entrance where “At Owner’s Risk” is boldly written on its wall.
Some students have however suffered the loss of their bags which contain many valuable properties at the spot.
When they leave their bags at the place before they finish reading; their bags would have been carted away by  unscrupulous students

Zubair Adava Mua’z, a 100-level student of the Department of Modern European Languages and Linguistics (MELL), walked out of his reading desk. It was time to go back home. At the entrance of the Library he reached out for his bag on the counter — but it was missing. His countenance fell suddenly like a bag of beans that fell off from a rickety vehicle. His credentials including his confirmation letter, which were in the bag, have just been carted away by a thief. Confusion took the better part of his emotions on that fateful day.

“It is a depressing situation. I’ve reported the incidence to the library but the bag is still missing. My certificate matters most to me,” a sad Zubair said.

He has searched the breath and length of the University to look for his bag but all his efforts to get if back proved abortive.

“I’ve gone to the surrounding bushes, I’ve meddled my fingers inside waste bins, I’ve searched several classes. People see me and think that I’m a mad person,” he lamented.

“Most days I rise as early as 5:00 am with the hope that I’ll see someone bearing my bag. I’m downcast but I have to be strong as a man,” he said pitifully.

However, he is not the only victim of the incident

Barely two weeks after this particular incidence, another 100-level student, Anas Babatunde, had his bag stolen by an unknown personality in the library.

He had finished reading at about 9:30 pm and was shocked when he got to where he kept his bag but found it missing. His original WAEC certificate which was kept inside was among the items in the bag. The euphoria associated with being a new student was buried beneath the ground of despondency instantly.

“I even kept the bag directly opposite the CCTV camera,” he recounted bitterly with a pity worn face.

Over the past few weeks the library has recorded numerous theft cases. It’s becoming a reason for concern.

PEN PRESS found her feet in the rather well air conditioned office of the University Librarian, Dr Ahmad.K. Nuhu, in order to have an exclusive interview with him. He explained that the Library is working relentlessly to ensure that theft of such nature is curbed.

However he emphasized that “students who have registered with the library would have their properties catered for.”

He also explained that the University Library provides two compartments where students can keep their items at the entrance. The first one is a closed shelf comprising numerous locked boxes whose keys would be given to students that register with the library. The second is an open shelf, in form of a rack, mainly patronised by students who are yet to register. But this is pretty risky and is where most victims of theft lost their items.

Dr Nuhu also lamented on the lack of sufficient personnels to manage the entrance where students properties are kept but promised to do something about it as soon as possible.
“We are trying to see if we could also engage the students too as our security personnel and they would pay them on hourly basis. I broached the topic with the Students’ Union executives but I’m yet to get feedback,” he revealed.

He also expressed his dissatisfaction over the low compliance of students in obtaining the library forms which will enable them to keep their properties in the library pigeon hole , he said:
“Most students, especially new students have not obtained their library forms, sometimes they would have been trailed from the class to the library by their fellow colleagues who might intend to steal the properties, immediately they dropped their bags outside, the miscreants carted it away”

Without sparing his sentiments, he mentioned that those caught stealing will be dealt with and eventually “rusticated.”

The University librarian however, urged students to register their names with library and to collect library forms which will enable them to keep their properties in the pigeon hole provided.

He noted that the library will take the full responsibility of students’ properties that are kept in the recommended store.

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