By Bankole Adewale
Academic Staff Union of Universities, Obafemi Awolowo University branch, on Thursday called on Inspector General of Police and Osun state Police Commissioner to address the rising incident of kidnapping in the country or risk industrial action by lecturers.
ASUU said since the abduction of one of its members, Prof Yinka Adegbehingbe in Apomu axis of Osun state on Sunday, May 5 by Fulani herdsmen, workers, students and other members of the university community had been carrying out their duties in fear and anxiety.
Reading resolutions of the union after its Congress to newsmen on the campus of the university, ASUU, OAU branch chairman, Dr. Adeola Egbetokun, said during physical contact with the victim and his wife after the incident, the group confirmed that ransom was paid to Adegbehingbe’s abductors before his release.
He said though the branch could not on its own declare strike over the matter, Egbetokun, however, said if the insecurity is not urgently addressed, the national leadership of the union may be forced to embark on industrial action to compel government to act on the matter.
Egbetokun said, “ASUU OAU, while unanimously condemning the criminal act of kidnapping not only as a crime against humanity and the state, also observed that it is a barbaric act violating the Constitution, laws and customary decency of Nigeria.
“ASUU OAU also sorrowfully acknowledged the degrees of fear, trepidation and anxiety pervading the atmosphere under which academic staff, students and other members of the university community are now going about their duties at the Obafemi Awolowo University.
“This is an unwelcome development capable of lowering the morale of workers and destroying academic, teaching and research activities.
“ASUU OAU equally observed that though the crime of kidnapping is not new in Nigeria, its upsurge and gradual incursion into Osun State, which is often celebrated as of one the most peaceful states in Nigeria, are issues seen as worrisome, and of serious concern to the governor of the state as the Chief Security Officer, state Commissioner of Police, all security agencies, obas and traditional authorities, local government, state authorities and the people of the state.”
The Union also called on the Inspector General of Police and the Director of State Security Services to continue to do everything in their powers to expose the Fulani herdsmen and other criminals who masterminded the kidnapping of Adegbehingbe and perpetrators of crimes across the country.