BY ANTHONY ARUGBA
The Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Delta State University, Abraka branch, Prof. Abel Diakparomre, has expressed worries over the nefarious activities of Fulani herdsmen in Abraka, urging the Ovie of Oruarivie-Abraka kingdom, HRM Akpomeyoma Majoroh Ojetta 2, to put the union under his protective hands.
Diakparomre, who said this when he led a delegation of ASUU executive on a courtesy call on HRM Akpomeyoma Majoroh at his palace, noted that the union decided to visit him (HRM Majoroh) to allay their fears and worries over the activities of cattle herdsmen.
He said,” We know that the problem of violent attack by cattle herdsmen on host communities is beginning to cut across many states of the nation. But, each environment has its own unique characteristics. Therefore, the problems that are engendered by the murderous actions of the cattle herdsmen also assume texture and coloration from place-to-place.
” Abraka has a status and character that distinguish her from other towns in the state. Abraka houses the main campus of the Delta State University which has a student population of over 20000 and staff number of over 2, 200. The assemblage of these staff and students from different ethnic nationalities gives additional security challenges to the host community and traditional institutions in the area.
” About a month ago, a non-teaching staff of the university was brutally murdered by suspected Fulani herdsmen. About two weeks ago, another man was reportedly murdered by, again, suspected Fulani herdsmen. This incident elicited a reaction which caused a disruption of public peace in the community.”
The ASUU chairman described these nefarious actions by suspected Fulani herdsmen as worrisome, adding that the spatial location of the Sites of the university in Abraka presents an integrative occupation structure that does not separate Town and Gown, and thus puts academic staff, other staff and students in harms way, especially when there is a breakdown of law and order.
He told the monarch that Delta State University is the only industry in the community, which makes staff and students the ‘raw materials’, hence it must be wary not to scare away staff and students from taking up appointments or studentship, pointing that failure to address the situation, it would have succeeded in crippling the economy of the community.
The ASUU boss, therefore, urged the state government to intervene directly and use its might with a view to address the Fulani herdsmen menace in different parts of the state, stating that unless this was done urgently, he feared that citizens could result to ‘self help’