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ASUU protests against abduction of members in Ekiti, threatens strike

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Ayodele-Fayose-

Fayose

  • For the inability of Ekiti State Government to curb the trend of serial kidnapping of university teachers, the Ekiti State University (EKSU) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Monday staged a peaceful protest and threatened to down tools by Friday May 22.

The body lamented that five of their members had been kidnapped at various locations in the State within two weeks, out of which two had been released to look for a sum of N210 million being demanded as ransom for the release of other three hostages. The union described the scenario as frightening and disturbing.

Some of the placards paraded during the protest read: “ASUU Say No to Kidnapping”, “Kidnapping is a Crime Against Humanity”, “ASUU Demands. Unconditional Release of Members”, ‘’Ensure Safety of Lives and Property’’, among others.

They were protesting over the kidnapping of Dr Femi Omisore , a teacher at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Dr Mrs Folasade Alade of EKSU and Dr (Mrs) Kikelomo Adegun, wife of the former Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado Ekiti

ASUU members, led by its EKSU Chairman, Prof Olufayo Olu-Olu , marched from the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital in Ado Ekiti to the palace of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, where they were addressed by Oba Adejugbe and members of his Council.

Also as part of the protesters were ASUU leaders from Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ile-Ife and Federal University of Technology, Akure, Dr Caleb Aborisade and Dr Bola Oniya.

The protesting teachers moved to see Governor Ayodele Fayose in his office where his deputy, Dr Kolapo Olusola, received them. Fayose was reported to have gone to Abuja to meet with the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase over the incessant abduction in the State.

Expressing their grievances before the Governor, the ASUU leaders said it was embarrassing for the kidnappers to have chosen their members and their colleagues in the health profession as targets, urging the government to do all within its powers to rescue the state from sliding into anarchy.

Olufayo said: “This is the same way Boko Haram started in the North. It started like a child’s play, but today, a visit to the North would show the level of callousness and damage the sects have done to the system. On this premise the government must act fast and stop this nonsense.

“These kidnappers erroneously thought our members are rich, but they never knew that we have not received salaries in EKSU since March, 2015. Three of our members are still being held and they were demanding for N70 million each, where do you expect us to get such money?

“Our fear is that, immediately these people realize that we are not rich, they may decide to waste them in the bush and this is our fear. We are pleading with Governor Fayose to act fast because it seems the police and the Department of State Security have no clue as to how the victims can be saved”.

Speaking in the same vein, Dr Aborisade hinted that ASUU in OAU might relocate its Secretariat to Ado Ekiti from Friday, if their colleagues are yet to be saved from the kidnappers’ den.

“ASUU in OAU has met and we had given up till Friday May 22 for our members to be rescued from these kidnappers or we will withdraw our services”, he said.

The Deputy Governor, who hinted that his boss was in Abuja to meet with IGP over the incident, said a team of experts would be sent to Ekiti to apprehend the perpetrators.

He prayed with the members of the academic staff for God to intervene in the issue and expose those behind the nefarious act.

Olusola , who described the scenario as very appalling added that the State, which is being supervised by an interim Commissioner of Police, Mr Ebojune Ibine , would soon get a substantive CP that would help in stemming the tide of abduction in the State.

Meanwhile, legal practitioner and human rights activist, Mr Morakinyo Ogele has urged civil servants in Ekiti State to stay away from work till the police guarantees their safety.

Ogele, in a statement yesterday condemned the nonchalant attitude of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the state government towards the spate of kidnapping in the state saying the inability of the police to arrest the perpetrators of the crime is an embarrassment to the nation.

He said: “It is very unfortunate that this is happening at this critical time. This issue is not whether those that were kidnapped were rich or poor, kidnapping is a crime to a society. This singular act is capable of scaring away investors from Ekiti State.
“Fayose’s government is a responsible one. We have written to the IGP to intervene in this matter. Mr Governor himself has gone to Abuja to meet him personally to discuss this issue. We have been making efforts and we thank God that our efforts have been yielding results and we won’t leave anything to chances
“We appeal to you not to withdraw your services because such may heighten the tension that had already mounted. But all we need now is for all of us to turn ourselves into security experts by extracting every useful information that we can give to the security agencies to be able to arrest the situation”.
Oba Adejugbe also assured them that the council of Ekiti traditional rulers have been meeting over the issue, saying his colleague obas would intervene to bring the situation to a halt.
“Those that were kidnapped are our people. We are working round the clock to unravel the mystery behind this and we pray that the good Lord would expose those behind this crime”, he said
Meanwhile, legal practitioner and human rights activist, Mr Morakinyo Ogele has urged civil servants in Ekiti State to stay away from work till the police guarantees their safety.
Ogele, in a statement yesterday condemned the nonchalant attitude of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the state government towards the spate of kidnapping in the state saying the inability of the police to arrest the perpetrators of the crime is an embarrassment to the nation.
He noted that while the state government has been doing a lot of talking little action has been taken to guarantee the safety of the people, pointing out that activities of the kidnappers have continue to flourish in the state
The Akure, Ondo state based legal practitioner called on the police to tell the public why they have not been able to arrest the criminals behind the kidnappings or curtail their activities in the state


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