Three days after gunmen attacked and kidnapped six persons from the University of Abuja staff quarters, lecturers are finding it difficult to attend classes because of the trauma of the incident.
The Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) chapter of the institution who disclosed this yesterday also lamented the deplorable state of their living quarters which was built by the President Shehu Shagari’s administration.
They said the quarters was originally a police barracks but was later assigned as temporary accommodation for the founding staff of the University.
Recall that bandits on Tuesday attacked the University of Abuja and abducted four staff members and some children in the institution.
While the bandits have demanded N300 million ransom for the abducted persons, a fresh attack was recorded on Wednesday morning as gunmen invaded the permanent site of the University and attacked Dr. David Okoroafor of the Economics department in his office.
But reacting yesterday, ASUU chairperson in the University, Dr Kasim Umar, charged the government to, as a matter of urgency, embark on construction of perimeter fencing around the Staff Quarters for effective control of movement around the university’s quarters.
While demanding for immediate rescue and release of all their kidnapped members, children and other staff, within 24 hours, they also sought for immediate ejection of all illegal occupants and trespassers from the university land.
Some of their demands include; “Immediate rescue and release of all our kidnapped members, children and other staff, who are currently being held by the criminals. Government should act swiftly to ensure this is done.
“There should be active cooperation between the military, other security agencies and the university administration. To make this effective, ASUU demands for the establishment of a rapid response unit, in the form of a joint task force or police mobile unit or military special force, which could be called upon, in case of any emergency
“Immediate ejection of all illegal occupants and trespassers from the university land.
“Embark on the immediate construction of residential quarters that befit the status of a university in the Federal Capital territory.”
The union also decried the worrisome and degenerating state of security across the country which has become so terrible that not even the ivory towers are not spared.
Further lamenting the poor state of the staff quarters, he said apart from the partial renovation done over 20years ago on some houses, there has been no major work done on the houses, roads or perimeter fencing.
“Thus, the entire quarters is in a decrepit state- the road infrastructure has completely collapsed; most parts of the perimeter fence (partly made of block work and wire mesh) have caved in, making security around the quarters almost non-existent.”
He similarly complained about the students’ hostels, which is highly insecure and the entire campus vulnerable to all manners of attacks.
“For this reason, trespassers and unauthorized individuals have occupied some parts of the University land thereby increasing the state of insecurity on the campus.
“The lives of our members, students and other staff of the University are seriously endangered by the perilous state of security in the campuses and residential quarters of the University,” he added.
Gunmen Abduct 4 Women In Suleja
Meanwhile, gunmen suspected to be bandits, have attacked Anguwar Gwari New Site of Kwamba area of Suleja and abducted four women yesterday morning, heightening the fear of a likely bandits’ camps in a stretch of forest in Suleja linking other local government areas in Niger State.
LEADERSHIP gathered yesterday that the gunmen numbering 20 stormed the new site of the popular Kwamba area of Suleja about 1am yesterday morning shooting randomly before abducting the four women and taking them through Minna Road to escape into the adjoining forest.
An eyewitness revealed that the gunmen escaped into a forest adjoining Suleja with the four abducted women before the combined team of the security agents could arrive at the scene of the crime.
According to a security source, the gunmen operated like bandits just as residents of the area were taken by surprise and are afraid that the gunmen might have infiltrated Suleja area from other parts of Niger State currently ravaged by bandits.
The source said “this has heightened our fear about likely bandits camp in the forest. They escaped into along Gurara and Lapai sharing boundary with Suleja”
It was gathered that the bandits were able to escape through the forest before the arrival of security personnel to the scene. It was also learnt that the joint security team comprising police and army were on their trail to rescue the victims and apprehend the perpetrators.
The commissioner of police, Monday Bala Kuryas, confirmed the incident but insisted that the gunmen escaped through villages. He added that the security agents would depend on information from the villagers to secure the rescue of the victims.