Kidnapping: Varsity teachers protest in Ekiti

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Kidnapping: Varsity teachers protest in Ekiti

Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday marched on the streets of Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, to protest the kidnap of their colleagues in the state.

The protest, which started at the gate of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), moved to the Ewi’s palace, and ended at the Governor’s Office.

The placard-carrying protesters, comprising ASUU members from Ekiti State University (EKSU) and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, moved round the town, drawing the public’s attention to their plight.

Some of their placards read: “ASUU demands unconditional release of our members”; “Governor Fayose, we are not safe please”; “Kidnapping is a crime against humanity”; “Ensure safety of lives and property in Ekiti State”; “Enough of kidnapping in Ekiti State”; “Governor Fayose, please save our souls”.

The protest was led by EKSU-ASUU Chairman Prof. Olufayo Olu-Olu, OAU ASUU Chairman Dr. Caleb Aborisade and Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) ASUU Chairman Dr. Bola Oniya.

An EKSU lecturer, Dr. Folashade Alade, was one of the three women kidnapped last Friday on the Ifisin-Igbole Road on their way to a wedding.

EKSU ASUU gave the government till Friday to secure the release of its members or face an indefinite strike.

The kidnappers are demanding N70 million for each of the three victims.

ASUU members still in captivity are Dr. Alade, Dr. Kikelomo Adegun both of EKSU and Dr. Femi Omisore of OAU.

Olu-Olu condemned the kidnappers’ clampdown on lecturers and medical workers, saying the situation should not be allowed to continue.

He said: “These kidnappers erroneously thought our members are rich, but they never knew that we have not received salaries in EKSU since March.

“Three of our members are still being held and they are demanding for N210 million; where do you expect us to get such money?

“Our fear is that immediately these people realise that we are not rich, they may decide to kill them.

“We are pleading with Governor Ayo Fayose to act fast because it seems the police and the DSS have no clue to how the victims can be rescued.”

Speaking in the same vein, Aborisade said OAU-ASUU may relocate its secretariat to Ado Ekiti.

“OAU-ASUU has met and we have given the government till Friday to rescue our members or we will withdraw our services,” he said.

The Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, sympathised with ASUU members.

He promised that traditional rulers are working with government and security agencies to ensure the victims’ release.

The monarch said: “The victims are our people. We are working round the clock to unravel this mystery.

“We pray that the Lord would expose those behind this crime.”

At the Governor’s Office, Deputy Governor Kolapo Olusola, who received the protesters, said his boss was in Abuja.

Describing the kidnappings as “appalling”, Olusola said the state would soon get a commissioner of police to curb the tide.

He said: “It is very unfortunate that this is happening at this critical time.

“This issue is not if the victims are rich or poor, kidnapping is a crime to a society.

“This singular act is capable of scaring away investors.

“Fayose’s administration 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 chance.

“We appeal to you not to withdraw your services. 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.”

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Posted By BOBRICKY On 07:10 Tue, 19 May 2015

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