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Government, ABU move to forestall attacks, kidnapping in varsity

By Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna and Oluwaseun Akingboye, Akure
28 November 2020   |   4:22 am
The Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) has stated that adequate security measures have been taken by the management of the institution...

Ahmadu Bello University

• Akeredolu Laments Insecurity As Kidnappers Kill Oba Adegoke, Abduct CoS’ Wife
The Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) has stated that adequate security measures have been taken by the management of the institution, state and federal governments to safeguard the lives and property of both lecturers and students against armed bandits and kidnappers.

The union also dispelled insinuations that the teachers were already fleeing from their residential quarters.

Armed bandits had stormed the university two times last week, kidnaping some lecturers and members of their families.

In Ondo State, hours after the murder of a first-class monarch, unknown gunmen kidnapped the wife of Mr. Olugbenga Ale, the Chief of Staff (CoS) to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

The Guardian learnt that Ale’s wife was abducted in Owena area of the state last Thursday night. It was also gathered that the news got to the governor on his way from Ifon in Ose local council of the state where he had led some members of his cabinet to condole with the people of Ifon, whose monarch, Oba Adegoke Israel Adeusi, was killed by kidnappers while on his way home from the monthly Council of Obas’ meeting in Akure.

The incidents came at a time the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, was in the state to assess the level of damage caused by the recent #EndSARS protest and attacks on his officers.

Coincidentally, a group of armed robbers attacked the only bank in Irele, the headquarters of Irele Council, carting away an undisclosed amount of money and killing one person.

The Assistant Secretary of the ABU chapter of ASUU, Dr. Abubakar Ibrahim Zaria, said following growing fear among workers and residents over the invasion of the university, the management, state and federal governments have taken measures to avert a reoccurrence.

Zaria said the reported exodus of residents from the campus was an isolated case of a lecturer’s wife, who, out of fear, demanded to vacate the university quarters because of the recent invasion, adding: “Otherwise, no other cases of members of the academic staff wanting to flee the campus has been recorded.

“It is fear that made the woman to want to vacate the quarters. You know that different people have different reactions. Though she is a woman, the other women did not do that. It is something out of fear.

“Apart from that case, there is no other staff that has left the quarters because of that sad incident. Incidentally, the woman is a neighbour to those two families that were abducted.”

He explained that immediately after the incident, the union confronted the university management to know what they were doing to arrest future reoccurrence of such incident.

“The management, state and federal government have already stepped into the matter. The union is satisfied with the action; the management is doing all it can to ensure that kidnapping does not happen in the university again. All the security chiefs within ABU, the state and to a large extent, the country have already been contacted about the situation and we are very sure that by the grace of God, such thing will never happen again,” he said.

ABU’s Director of Public Affairs, Auwalu Umar, also said: “All is now calm in the university. It is not true that lecturers are now running out of the residential quarters. You will hear all sorts of rumours, but it is not true. Security has been beefed up in the university and there is no cause for alarm. The university authority is on top of the situation.”

However, one of the lecturers, who pleaded anonymity, said: “I must tell you that the fear is still there everywhere on campus, especially in the BZ area. In the university here, the western side is open for people to come into the campus unhindered. That is where the penetration used to come from. The affected areas are BZ, Area E, F and along those fringes that are open. The fencing is in the frontage and armed bandits and kidnappers used to come from that side.

“Once they come in from there, they are almost free to do anything, attack and kidnap anyone. It was the former vice chancellor, Prof. Abdullahi Mahdi that made an attempt to demarcate the porous areas by planting trees. But what would trees do?”

The spokesman of the Ondo State Police Command, Tee-Leo Ikoro, who confirmed the armed robbery incident, however, said he was not aware of the latest kidnap and pledged to get back.

However, the governor has described last Thursday as a sad day in Ondo, saying the killing of the monarch around Elegbeka on Owo-Ifon road was unfortunate.

“This is a heinous crime, an incident that has, again, confirmed that we are indeed, in a serious security crisis beyond the ordinary,” he noted.

A statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Donald Ojogo, disclosed that the governor had already visited the affected area, in company with Ale, whose wife was kidnapped later that night.

He stated that security agencies, especially the Police, had already been directed to fish out perpetrators, adding: “On our part as a government, we shall give whatever it takes to unravel this. These criminals who have brought this sad day on our state shall not go unpunished.”