Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka branch, Dr. Emmanuel Mordi, at the weekend, said at least 20 lecturers, their spouses and relations, had been kidnapped in the last two years by gunmen.
He stated this in Abraka while briefing the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, who visited the university, just as the Vice Chancellor, Prof Eric Arubayi, confirmed that the university and Abraka community were under siege. Aduba, however, explained the role police were playing to stem crime in the state, especially in the university community, and pleaded for support in passing useful information to the police.
Mordi, worried by the manner kidnappers had zeroed-in on lecturers, feared they might destroy the academic environment.
He made particular reference to a lecturers in science education, Dr. (Mrs) Mercy Mokobia, kidnapped, on April 9, at about 1.00a.m. in her bedroom and has not been found till date, as well as Dr. Ugochukwu Uzuegbe, abducted, on May 9, in Edo State, but regained freedom after payment of ransom.
His words, “It is unfortunate and very frightening that it has become our lot in recent years to be saddled with the burden of combating kidnapping and related nefarious acts which have posed danger to the security of lives and property of our members”.
He regretted that since 2011, ASUU members had been in constant danger of losing their lives to kidnappers and armed bandits.
Aduba took time to explain the measures police had taken to secure the academic community and how it traced the kidnappers of Mokobia to Ozoro, where one of the suspected kidnappers was shot dead and three of the female members arrested with part of the ransom collected by the gang.
He said the police were doing everything to locate the lecturer while detectives were trailing the two fleeing suspects.
The police boss, however, vowed to crush kidnappers and warmed that any building owned by kidnappers or used to hold victims hostage would be demolished.