ASUU Protests Incessant Kidnapping of Members, Students in Nasarawa Varsity

Igbawase  Ukumba in  Lafia

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday protested recent incessant kidnappings of its members and students of the Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK).

The union held a peaceful protest at the Senate Building of the University in Keffi Local Government Area of the state.

It would be recalled that some lecturers and students of the institution were kidnapped recently by unknown persons and later released.

Some of the protesters carried placards with the inscriptions: ‘Governor A. A Sule save us from terrorists’, ‘Save lives of university lecturers. Overhaul the security apparatus in Keffi for us to be secured’, ‘The lives of lecturers matter. Let the lecturers breathe’, among others.

Speaking shortly after the protest, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, National President, ASUU condemned the kidnapping which he described as pathetic and called on relevant authorities to put in place necessary steps to avert future occurrence.

“It’s a pathetic situation. We are calling on the government, the Vice Chancellor and Management of the institution to rise up to their responsibilities and ensure people are safe in this university,” he said.

He commended the ASUU branch for organising the peaceful protest which he said was necessary to notify relevant authorities of the displeasure of the union over the recent incidents.

“I commend this branch for this protest and I want to assure you that we will also take action over this ugly development,” he added.

Also speaking, Prof. Samuel Alu, Chairman, ASUU NSUK Branch, described the incessant kidnappings of members of the union and some students as a pill too bitter to swallow hence the decision by an emergency congress of the branch’s union to organise a peaceful protest.

“We are here to register our displeasure because within the last three weeks, several of our members have been kidnapped.

“We find it difficult to understand why this incident will happen consistently without any form of condemnation on the part of government or military,” he said.

He explained that aside from the peaceful protest, the branch’s emergency congress also resolved that Governor Abdullahi Sule should rise to the occasion in addressing the insecurity challenges that has bedeviled NSUK.

“Our members are living in perpetual fear and are threatened because nobody knows who is next. They are being improvised and made to pay ransom and nobody has to come to our aid.

“We are putting on notice that we cannot accept this kind of ugly incident on our members to continue without being abated. Students have also been captured and ransoms have been paid.

“The fear is if this continues, Nasarawa State will soon cease to exist because of fear, people will have to leave because of their safety before talking of education. 

“So, we are calling on the Commissioner of Police Nasarawa State Command to rise to the occasion. What is happening is totally unacceptable to ASUU NSUK Branch and ASUU generally,” he said.

In an interview with journalists, Prof. Abdullahi Modibbo, Deputy Vice Chancellor, NSUK, who spoke on behalf of the NSUK Vice Chancellor, Prof Suleiman Bala-Mohammed, admitted that the institution was facing difficult times for almost a month due to incessant kidnappings of staff and students.

“Maybe by putting the records straight. Three of our lecturers were kidnapped. A wife of our lecturer was kidnapped. Four students of this university were also kidnapped. 

“But most of them are staying off campus. So mostly the people that were kidnapped are those staying outside the campus. It is a source of concern to the management of the institution even though we know it is a national problem,” he said.

He however assured that management of the institution is making serious efforts to checkmate the ugly trend and put a stop to it.

“For those on campus, we don’t have much problem because we are in collaboration with Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. 

“For those off campus, we have approved the recruitment of twenty vigilantes that will be strategically trained to do their job in various nooks and crannies of the various off campus locations. This is one of the efforts we are making on security of staff and students,” he said

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