The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Delta State University chapter, Abraka, has called on the Delta State Government and all security agencies in the state to as a matter of urgency ensure the release of a senior lecturer, Dr. Boniface Anyanwu and Mr. Nnamdi Nwachukwu, son of Professor Austin Nwachukwu, who were abducted at Obiaruku near Abraka at the weekend. Incidentally, Anyanwu’s birthday is monday.
In a statement signed by the ASUU/DELSU Secretary and Head of Mass Communication Department, Dr. Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri and the Chairman, Professor Abel Diakparomre and sent to THISDAY, the Union described the act as unacceptable, bizarre and primitive coming from a tyranny of individuals with warp perception of contemporary society and urged Delta State Government to urgently intervene in “this debacle and quickly set in motion operations for the immediate rescue of Dr. Anyanwu and Mr. Nwachukwu from the hands of their abductors.
The statement also urged Deltans to assist in their rescue who are themselves victims of the current socio-economic quagmire that the country has found itself.
The statement read in parts: “It is with utmost sadness that we have to address a press conference once again on the incidence of kidnapping of lecturers and/or members of their family. The latest of these incidents is the kidnap of one of our lecturers, Dr. Boniface Chukwuma Anyanwu, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts and Mr. Nnamdi Nwachukwu, son of another lecturer (Professor Austin Nwachukwu of the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education) who live at Obiaruku (a neighbouring community to Abraka).
“This incident occurred at about 3.00 am on Saturday, February 03, 2018. The kidnap victims were taken away in the booth of Dr. Boniface Anyanwu’s car. The kidnappers have since made contact with the families of the kidnap victims demanding Ten Million Naira ransom for the release of each of the victims. This is totally unacceptable.
“The kidnap of lecturers, and/or members of their family, is not only unacceptable, it is bizarre and primitive. Academics, all over the world, are the springboard of society’s growth and development. This is so because of their role in imparting knowledge to persons who later become builders of societies. A society that has no respect for intellectual resource is destined for doom and damnation.
“The security of lecturers, and indeed every citizen, rests squarely on the shoulders of Government. Indeed, it is a primary responsibility of Government to protect lives and properties of citizens. The Government of Delta State cannot shy away from this responsibility.
“We, members of the academic community in Abraka, had thought that the era of kidnapping, especially the kidnapping of Delta State University lecturers, which was very pervasive some years back, had become a thing of the past. The resurgence of this criminal activity cannot be tolerated or allowed to fester. Apart from the danger to the individual lecturers, it is a total disgrace to the nation’s image and the psyche of the populace. It is hardly heard of, anywhere in the world, that University lecturers are maltreated, let alone kidnapped.
“It is on record that Nigerian lecturers are among the most sought after intellectuals in the world. Many of these have however chosen to remain in Nigeria to contribute to their quota to the reinventing and regeneration of our society in spite of the not very conducive environment in which they work and the lean wages. To have hoodlums wanting to squeeze them further through kidnap is crossing the threshold. It is pathetic that the extremely patriotic ones who have chosen to stay behind to help build the nation are being picked for ransom by criminally-minded persons and groups. The solution to all these lies squarely with Government.
“We, therefore, call on the Delta State Government, and all the security agencies, to save us from the tyranny of these persons with warp perception of contemporary society and especially intervene in this debacle and quickly set in motion operations for the immediate rescue of Dr. Anyanwu and Mr. Nwachukwu from the hands of their abductors. We also call on the generality of Deltans to assist in the rescue of these hapless and harmless citizens who are themselves victims of the current socio-economic.”