Kidnappers of three members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Ekiti State University, have demanded N210million ransom for their release.
Five lecturers were initially abducted by the criminals who later released two of them to source for the money to secure their colleagues’ release.
This was disclosed by the union yesterday when its members staged a protest in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital over the incessant kidnappings of its members in Ekiti State.
The lecturers gave the state government till Friday to rescue its members from the kidnappers’ den, failing which they would have no option but to go on an indefinite strike.
ASUU lamented that five of their members had been kidnapped at various locations in the state within two weeks, of which two had been released to look for N210 million being demanded as ransom for the release of other three hostages, describing the scenario as frightening and disturbing.
The lecturers demonstrated round the town with placards with inscriptions such as: “ASUU Say No To Kidnapping; Kidnapping Is A Crime Against Humanity; ASUU Demands Unconditional Release of Our Members” and “Ensure Safety of Life and Property.”
The abducted lecturers are: Dr. Femi Omisore of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU; Dr. (Mrs) Folasade Alade of the Ekiti State University, EKSU and Dr. (Mrs) Kikelomo Adegun, wife of the former Chief Medical Director, CMD, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, EKSUTH.
The protesting lecturers were led by their chairman, Prof. Olufayo Olu-Olu.
They marched from the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, EKSUTH, in Ado-Ekiti to the Ewi’s Palace, where they were addressed by Oba Rufus Adejugbe and members of his Council.
Their colleagues from OAU, Dr. Caleb Aborisade and the Federal University of Technology, Dr. Bola Oniya, also participated in the exercise as directed by their sister institutions.
They later moved to the Governor’s Office where they were received by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kolapo Olusola, as Governor Peter Fayose, was said to have travelled to Abuja to meet with the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase over the abduction saga.
The ASUU leaders told the deputy governor that it was embarrassing for the kidnappers to have chosen their members and colleagues in the health profession as targets and urged the state government to do all within its powers to rescue the state from the kidnappers.
Olufayo said: “This is the same way Boko Haram started in the North. It started like a child’s play, but now, a visit to the North would show the level of callousness and damage the sect had done to the country. On this premise the government must act fast and stop this nonsense.
“These kidnappers erroneously thought our members are rich, but they never knew that we have not received salaries in EKSU since March 2015. Three of our members are still being held and they were demanding for N70 million each, where do you expect us to get such money?
“Our fear is that, immediately these people realise that we are not rich, they may decide to waste them in the bush. We are pleading with Governor Fayose to act fast because it seems the police and the DSS have no clue on how the victims can be saved”.
Also, Dr. Aborisade hinted that ASUU in OAU might relocate its secretariat to Ado-Ekiti from Friday, if their colleagues were not saved from the kidnappers’ den.
“ASUU in OAU has met and we have given up till Friday, May 22 for our members to be rescued from these kidnappers or we will withdraw our services,” he said.
The deputy governor told his visitors that his boss, Governor Fayose, was in Abuja to meet with IGP over the incident, adding that a team of experts would be sent to Ekiti to apprehend the perpetrators.
Olusola, who called for prayers for the release of their members and arrest of those behind the nefarious act.
He described the action of the kidnappers as very appalling, adding that the state, which is being supervised by an Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ebojune Ibine, would get a substantive Commissioner of Police, to be able to curb the menace.
He said: “It is very unfortunate that this is happening at this critical time. This issue is not whether those that were kidnapped were rich or poor, kidnapping is a crime to a society. This singular act is capable of scaring away investors from Ekiti State.
“Fayose’s government is a responsible one. We have written to the IGP to intervene in this matter. Mr Governor himself has gone to Abuja to meet him personally to discuss this issue. We have been making efforts and we thank God that our efforts have been yielding results and we won’t leave anything to chances
“We appeal to you not to withdraw your services because such may heighten the tension that had already mounted. But all we need now is for all of us to turn ourselves into security experts by extracting every useful information that we can give to the security agencies to be able to arrest the situation”.
Oba Adejugbe also assured them that the council of Ekiti traditional rulers has been meeting over the issue, saying his colleague Obas would intervene to bring the situation under control.

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