BY Johnbosco Agbakwuru
CALABAR—Gunmen, weekend, shot the Head of Department of Public Administration, University of Calabar, Mr. Felix Akpan, an Associate Professor, at a relaxation joint and also killed the gateman while escaping.
Akpan and some officials of the University of Calabar, were said to be at a meeting with some representatives of a first generation bank on the update of the hydro-power project and the necessary things done so far by the university to secure a loan for the project from the bank, when the gunmen struck.
The gunmen, it was gathered, gained entry to the place and went straight to the meeting point. One of them identified Akpan and the other brought out a gun to shoot him on the head but luckily, the bullet hit his hands, while attempt by the 70-year-old gateman to close the gate when he heard the gunshot attracted the wrath of one of the assailants, who immediately shot him dead.
It was gathered that the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. James Epoke, had on assumption of office, made radical appointments to sanitise the institution in a bid to compete favourably with other universities in the world.
Akpan, who was appointed the HOD of Public Administration on October 1, this year, was said to have embarked on the sanitization exercise, which, it was gathered, did not go down well with some sections of the university especially, some students who were said to be in the habit of not paying school fees.
A source close to Akpan, who did not want his name mentioned, alleged that the attempt on Akpan’s life, could be because of the policy of the university that students should pay 60 percent of their first semester fees before writing their examinations and then complete the remaining 40 percent before writing the second semester examination and that students suspected to have procured fake receipts and in their final year, were asked to present photocopies of all fees receipts for verifications.
Confirming the report, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr John Umoh, said he was aware of the shooting of the lecturer and the killing of the security man but he was not aware whether any arrest had been made, adding that investigation was ongoing to fish out those responsible.