The ASUU National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, condemned the spate of kidnapping in the institution.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Friday, staged a peaceful protest against the “incessant kidnapping” of its members and students of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protest was organised in front of the Senate Building of the university.
It would be recalled that some lecturers and students were recently kidnapped by gunmen and later released.
The protesters carried placards with different inscriptions, such as “Gov. A A Sule save us from terrorists,” “Save lives of university lecturers. Overhaul the security apparatus in Keffi for us to be secured” and “The lives of lecturers matter. Let the lecturers breathe,” amongst others.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the protest, the ASUU National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, condemned the spate of kidnapping in the institution.
Osodeke described the phenomenon as worrisome and called on the relevant authorities to put necessary measures in place to avert future occurrences.
He commended the university ASUU for organising the protest which, he said, was necessary to notify the relevant authorities about the displeasure of the union over the incidents.
“I commend this branch for this protest and I want to assure you that we will also take action over the ugly development,” he said.
Also, the Chairman ASUU NSUK, Prof. Samuel Alu, described the incessant attacks on lecturers and students of the university as “a pill too bitter to swallow”, hence the decision by an emergency congress of the branch to organise the 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 by the government or military,” Alu said.
He further said that aside from the peaceful protest, the body also resolved at the congress that the governor should be encouraged to take measures to address the security challenges that had bedevilled the institution.
“Our members are living in perpetual fear and threatened because nobody knows who is next.
“They are being impoverished and made to pay ransom and nobody has 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 addressed.
“Students have also been captured and ransom paid.
“The fear is, if this continues, Nasarawa State will soon cease to exist because of fear, people will begin to leave because of their safety before talking of education.
“So, we are calling on the Commissioner of Police to also rise to the occasion.
“What is happening is totally unacceptable to ASUU NSUK Branch and ASUU generally,” he said.
In an interview with newsmen, Prof. Abdullahi Modibbo, Deputy Vice Chancellor, who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Suleiman Bala-Mohammed, admitted that the institution was facing difficult times for almost a month due to the incessant kidnapping of staff members and students.
Modibbo said that three of their lecturers were kidnapped, including the wife of a lecturer.
He further said that four off-campus students were also kidnapped.
‘It is a source of concern to the management of the institution even though we know it is a national problem,” Modibbo said.
He gave assurance that the management was making serious efforts to checkmate the ugly trend.
“For those on campus, we don’t have much problem because we are working 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,” Modibbo said.