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Lecturers urge Nigerian govt to curb upsurge in kidnapping

With the recent trend of kidnapping in Nigeria, lecturers of the Obafemi Awolowo University have called on the government and security agencies to curb the menace.

PREMIUM TIMES recalls that the Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Mahmood Abubakar, and his daughter were kidnapped along Abuja- Kaduna Highway in April.

The UBEC boss and the daughter were freed after 24 hours in the hands of the abductors.

Likewise, a lecturer in OAU, Olayinka Adegbeingbe, was abducted two weeks ago. He was eventually released a day after, after paying the ransom demanded by the kidnappers.

The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. at the Apomu axis of Ibadan-Ife Expressway on Sunday, May 5.

The professor, from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology, narrated how the abductors collected over N5 million before he regained freedom.

Concerned lecturers

In the press statement, sent to this newspaper, on Thursday, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in OAU condemned the growing trend of kidnapping.

Part of its statement is reproduced below:

“We are all living witnesses to the gruesome and disturbing news of kidnapping all over the nation, and the consequent effects on the psyche of victims. Comrades and compatriots, the height of this was the experience of one of our colleagues and teacher, the unfortunate incident which occurred a few days ago.

“The Congress of ASUU OAU Branch met on Monday, 13th May, 2019 to deliberate on the unfortunate incident of kidnapping of one of its members, Professor A. O. Adegbehingbe of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology.

“ASUU OAU, while unanimously condemning the criminal act of kidnapping, not only as a crime against humanity and the state, also observed that it is a barbaric act violating the constitution, laws and customary decency of Nigeria.

“ASUU OAU also sorrowfully acknowledged the degrees of fear, trepidation and anxiety pervading the atmosphere under which academic staff, students and other members of the university Community are now going about their duties at the Obafemi Awolowo University. This is an unwelcome development capable of lowering the morale of workers and destroying academic, teaching and research activities.”

“ASUU OAU equally observed that though the crime of kidnapping is not new in Nigeria, its upsurge and gradual incursion into Osun State, which is often celebrated as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria, are issues to be seen as worrisome, and of serious concern to the Governor of the State as the Chief Security Officer, the State Commissioner of Police, all security agencies, Obas and traditional authorities, local government, state authorities and the people of the State.

“In view of the foregoing, Congress members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, hereby call on the State Governor, the Commissioner of Police, Obas and traditional chiefs, the OAU Vice-Chancellor, the Police and other security agencies to intensify efforts at fighting issues of insecurity in the state to a standstill.

“In particular, the Congress also called on the Inspector General of Police and the Director of State Security Services to continue to do everything within their power to expose the Fulani herdsmen and other criminals who masterminded the kidnapping of Professor A. O. Adegbehingbe and other perpetrators of crimes in Osun State and other parts of Nigeria.”

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