Unbelievable things happen on university campuses. Sometimes, the students are active players in these things. At other times, they can only watch as the situations unfold. This week, I spoke to a couple of students studying at University of Port Harcourt and got them to talk about the wildest thing that has happened to them. From run-ins with lecturers and cultists to extortion by security operatives, these students have some stories to share.
Angela— I fended off a lecturer’s advances and it became a problem
Sometime in my second year, I was at the faculty to attend a class when a lecturer called me into his office. He asked about my CGPA and offered to help me with whatever I didn’t understand about his course. I thought that was it until he reached for his desk and brought out some sweets, which he tried to feed me. I excused myself, telling him that I had a class to attend. He let me go with clear instructions that I had to return.
I didn’t go back and avoided him for the longest time. He asked my course rep to fetch me and dismissed her when we got to his office. Again, I was alone with him. He didn’t waste time this time before trying to kiss me. I was so disgusted that I didn’t know when I yelled at him to stop. He was taken aback and I used the opportunity to flee his office.
A few days before exams, he sent my course rep to tell me that “exam has come oh, how far?”
I knew what that meant. However, I didn’t go to see him. When the results came out, I got an E in his course — I did well in school and I was confident that I was poised for an A.
I told my mum what happened. My mum told my dad. And my dad reported the situation to someone in the school senate and the person took it up. It wasn’t fun for me. Suddenly, everybody knew about it and started to spread rumours. In class, the lecturer started to pick up on me. It was really overwhelming for me. At some point, I wasn’t interested in going to class anymore. It blew over eventually, but being in that situation wasn’t a fun thing. It was too much drama.
AJ — I was almost attacked in my lodge
One of my neighbours threw a party at my lodge. My friends and I hung around for a while before we got tired and went back to my room, thinking the night was over. Around 11 PM, one of my friends barged into the room, sick with worry. The only thing I could make out of what he was saying was that we should turn off the generator.
We turned the generator off. Then we found out why he was so alarmed. In the silence of the night, we heard the flat side of a machete landing on people’s backs, followed by loud screams.
It had to be a robbery. We quickly hid our phones because there was the possibility that they would storm our room too. We also looked for a potential exit point in the ceiling where we could hide if the situation became more than we can handle.
Within minutes, someone was knocking on our window, ordering us to let them in. Everyone froze in fright. We had no choice but to obey. We nominated someone to go out and open the door, expecting the worst.
Then this guy walked in with a machete and a gun. However, It was the chief security officer of my community. And he was there to disrupt the party we were at earlier because nobody bribed him before the party took place. So, he came there to extort people and physically harass them. It was either that or he would call the police on them. He searched the room, looking for weed, but he found nothing and left us alone. My friends and I got out of the situation unharmed, but it was really unsettling.
Chinwa — My friend laced my food with weed
I went to see a friend. She cooked noodles and offered it to me. I didn’t know, but she had laced it with weed. She was supposed to make my hair, but the weed took effect quicker on her. She told me she wanted to sleep and I decided to leave. I had barely made it to the car park before I lost all sense of self. Then I realised what she had done.
I flagged down a cab and offered to pay for all the seats. During the ride, I found out that I didn’t have enough money on me, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to get home. Nobody picked my call when I got to the hostel, so I had to climb the flight of stairs to get money to pay the cab.
It was the most difficult thing I’d ever done. When I finally settled all that, I returned to my room and flopped down on my bed. Now, I couldn’t sleep. I was so out of it that I could have sworn that the room was spinning in frantic motion.
I didn’t know when I finally slept off or for how long I slept. But I woke up with the worst hunger ever. But it was 11 PM and all the shops had closed. I couldn’t get food until the morning.
Ekele — I went clubbing with friends and became stranded
We had just finished writing the semester exam and there was a party at a club near one of the university three campuses — Choba campus. My friends thought we deserved to go out and have fun. I agreed to it after making both of them promise that we would leave early.
The plan was to leave the club around 9 PM. When that time came, my friends were nowhere near ready to go. I contemplated leaving them there, but I decided against it.
We left the club around 11 PM. However, the roads were empty, save for a few cabs. Our campus was about 30 minutes away but we were stranded. Eventually, we saw a taxi and three other people joined us. Midway into the trip, the driver said he wasn’t going to take us to our actual campus — Delta Campus — so, he dropped us off close to the main gate of Choba campus.
Now, it was 12 midnight or thereabout. And we were three ladies walking the streets of Port Harcourt. I’d never felt unsafe like that in a long time. We weren’t going to make it to the campus, so my friends decided that they would sleep at one of their friend’s, but I wasn’t up for that. I decided to spend the night inside the school. Luckily, one of my friends was still writing her exams and was studying at the campus that night. I found her and stayed with her till until morning. Finally, I got back to my apartment, rethinking my decisions from the previous night. I haven’t been to another club since that time.
Belema — I squared up with a suspected cultist
I was watching a football match between my department and a set of guys from another department. We were trailing behind on goals and tensions were already building up. Close to the end of the match, a player on the opposing team made a bad foul on a player from my team.
An argument broke out because of this and it didn’t die down, even after minutes had passed. Out of nowhere, a guy came on the field and declared the match over. He acted like he owned the place and this irritated me so much.
For some reason, everyone just stood there and did everything he said. I approached my coursemates and asked them why they let a “big olodo boy” tell them what to do.
A couple of his friends heard this and reported what I said to him. He was mad that I called him an olodo and turned his attention to me. He said a lot of things — about how badly he would deal with me. I don’t know where the strength came from but I stood up to him.
In the heat of the moment, I didn’t realise that my coursemates were asking me to keep quiet. Word was that he was a cultist. Things calmed down only because one of my coursemates called his brother, and for some reason, he was able to call him off.
I wasn’t scared of him at the time, but thinking about it sometimes makes me wonder what I was thinking and where the surge of confidence came from.