NO fewer than 10 striking lecturers of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology were on Wednesday arrested and later released by policemen.
Though, the arrest was said to have been instigated by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Barineme Fakae, the vice chancellor said he was not around when the incident took place.
It was gathered that the lecturers, who had being on strike for six months over the reappointment of the vice chancellor of the university, were about holding a meeting at the Engineering Drawing Room of the institution before security operatives stormed the place and whisked away 10 of them.
It will be recalled that the striking lecturers and the university authorities had being on a long-drawn battle as a result of the reappointment of the vice chancellor by the State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
Chairman of ASUU, RSUST Branch, Dr. Felix Igwe, accused the vice chancellor of ordering the arrest of the leadership of the union.
he explained that they were later released with a directive that they (lecturers) should report to the office of the State Police Commission today (Thursday).
“We have just been released and asked to report to the office of the State Police Commission tomorrow (Thursday). We were about holding a meeting when a group of policemen came and arrested some of us.
“The DPO said we (ASUU members) did not take permission before holding a meeting. Our next line of action is that we will report to the office of the state police commissioner tomorrow,” Igwe said.
Contacted, the Vice Chancellor of the university said it was wrong for any person to say that he instigated the arrest of the lecturers.
“But what were they (striking lecturers) doing there? The police must have a good reason for arresting them. Let them ask what did they do; the police should be able to tell you what happened,” Fakae stated.
State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ben Ugwuegbulam, told The PUNCH that the striking lecturers were not arrested, but moved away from the university in order not to be attacked by students.