By Gbenga Ariyibi
Ado Ekiti—Worried by the spate of kidnapping of its members, both the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, have called for a total overhaul of the security strategies in the state, even as no fewer than seven doctors had received text messages from alleged kidnappers. Six persons, including the former Chief Medical Director, CMD, Dr Patrick Adegun and a nurse working with the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, Mrs Margaret Aladeleka were abducted in different parts of the state in the last few weeks.
Also, a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Dr Femi Omisore was abducted at the weekend, while his driver was killed at Ido Ekiti. Speaking at a joint press conference in Ado Ekiti yesterday the NMA and ASUU expressed concerns over their members becoming target of kidnapping, lamenting that the Police and the Department of State Services, DSS, are not handling the matter professionally.
Through the ASUU, Akure Zonal Coordinator, Dr Alex Odiyia, the lecturers appealed to Governor Ayodele Fayose to get rid of hoodlums for Ekiti to be peaceful. “The government should as a matter of urgency overhaul the entire Police Force and other relevant agencies saddled with the responsibility of keeping peace in the state and more importantly relocate the heads of both services who find it difficult to unravel the root cause of our present predicament”.
The ASUU chief, who was represented by Dr Bola Oniya, said that the security chiefs were allegedly treating the nefarious activities with laxity, calling on all appropriate authorities to act fast. “It is sad to know that the nefarious, inhuman and dehumanizing activities of these hoodlums heralded the arrival of the new Police Commissioner, Mr Joshua Ibine and the Director of DSS, Mr Duke Fubarain.
“This is more so as none of them have been able to come up with any clue on the disappearance of those kidnapped and the whereabouts of the abductors. It is rather better imagined the agony of the family members of these victims since their unfortunate incidents. “The questions on the lips of everybody is why kidnappers have chosen the lecturers or university administrators and their NMMA members. “The possible answer should be because of the hoodlums’ erroneous belief that they earn the highest income in the state that is presently wallowing in poverty.
“This is the major reason why some workers are being owed close to three months with a lot of unpaid arrears of leave bonuses. What a double jeopardy”, he lamented. In a related development,the security council in the state has vowed to rescue all the people kidnapped in various parts of the state. They made the pledge after an emergency meeting in Ado Ekiti yesterday. Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Owoseni Ajayi, stated that the council frowned at the high incidence of kidnapping to rescue the victims.
The council further disclosed that certain measures would be put in place to protect life and property and also called on the people particularly landlords, hoteliers to be cautious about the manner of people they accommodate. It appealed to residents to cooperate with the government and the security agencies, saying there would be strict security measures and check points in strategic places across the state.
The Council resolved that usage of tinted classes would be prohibited, while there would be frequent hotel checks, with a call to hoteliers to monitor their customers and offer information to security agents on any suspected person, saying any hotel linked to criminals would be sealed up. Plantations of Indian hemp would also be impounded henceforth, while culprits would be prosecuted as efforts would be made for the enactment of relevant laws to decisively deal with the criminals and their accomplices.
The council said it required the cooperation of everybody in the state to fight criminals to a standstill. The Council also resolved that the state would not condone any invasion of foreign bodies or security threat before and after the May 29 handing-over date, advising those muting the idea to drop it in their own interest. The council praised security agencies in the state over their efforts to ensure there is peace in the state, appealing to religious leaders, traditional rulers, labour leaders and other stakeholders to continue to cooperate with the government and security personnel to provide adequate security in the state.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ojune Ibine, who was at the meeting and in a separate press interview, assured people of the state of improved security measure, warning criminals to have a rethink as the police was ready to go all out against them. He assured that the release of kidnapped persons would soon be effected.