About Bedbugs And "Fresh" Victims- Akinfenwa Olaitan
As our freshmen finally resume and are gladly welcome into the open something of the OAU community, it is not surprising that almost every other student has some advice to give and some experience to share with the freshmen. So while we are all still basking in the euphoria of resumption, there is a need to be made aware of this problem which stalites know too well and have battled for so long. This is the issue of bedbugs. To our freshmen, the saying - Don't let the bedbugs bite- is not just a casual joke. It's a real issue that became even more persistent over the last session.
The distressing insects have practically made their homes in the hostels, and have carved out hiding places in crevices and walls. This obviously makes the freshmen become fresh victims of this unsolved issue of bedbugs. Benjamin, a freshman, and an occupant in Fajuyi Hall, shared his distasteful experience with the bugs. According to him, he has "noticed bedbug bites since his first day, and has not been able to sleep in his room for three days now." Complaints have also been made by freshmen residing in Angola Hall and Awolowo Hall respectively.
Of course, the problem of bedbug infestation is not a new story. It is something we students have been dealing with for quite awhile now. Last semester, there were series of complaints by students in Mozambique Hall concerning bedbug infestation in the hostels, common room and reading room. Eventually, the problem became so worrisome that the school management, in a bid to eradicate the bedbugs, embarked on a fumigation project of all hostels during the first semester break. This however, was clearly not effective enough as the bugs appear to be living up to their reputation of being hard and nearly impossible to eradicate. As a result, students complained bitterly and pleaded with the school management to provide a lasting solution to this persistent problem, hopefully during the second semester holiday.
However, it was gathered that the school management ran into some problems while trying to solve the problem during the sessional break. According to the Dean of the Division of Students' Affairs, they were unable to embark on the fumigation due to the presence of students who stayed back in school during the holiday. The students who could prove that they had genuine academic reasons to stay back in school during the break were asked to provide signed reports by their H.O.Ds so that they could be allowed temporary accommodation in selected hotels while the fumigation went on in the other hostels.
But unfortunately, due to lack of coordination and unwillingness to cooperate, the situation was not addressed.
Now, school has resumed for a new session, and with the problem of bedbugs unaddressed, it is almost impossible to do anything substantial about it now. It is only a matter of time before the bedbugs start their bloodsucking activities, and complaints erupt afresh, leading to unavoidable protests and agitations by seemingly concerned student officials. It therefore appears that we are in dire need of a solution before this problem escalates and results into a disruption of the academic calendar.
(Akinfenwa Olaitan is a student of the Faculty of Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University and a member of the OAU Peeps Team)