Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted a senior lecturer at the Delta State University, Abraka, Dr Boniface Anyanwu, and a son of one of his colleagues.
Anyanwu and the son of Prof. Augustine Nwachukwu were kidnapped on Saturday night at his residence in Obiaruku near Abraka, Delta State.
Our correspondent gathered that the kidnapped lecturer, believed to be living with a respiratory ailment known as Asthma, was forced into his Toyota Camry car and whisked away to an unknown destination by the kidnappers.
Another lecturer at the university, who confirmed the development to our correspondent on Monday, said the hoodlums had contacted families of the victims and demanded N20m as ransom for both of them.
The lecturer, on condition of anonymity, said that members of the university community were worried about their kidnapped colleague’s health since his abductors refused to allow him to take his drugs along.
The DELSU chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, in a statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Prof. Abel Diakparomre and Dr. Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri, respectively, and made available to our correspondent on Monday, condemned the incident and appealed to the kidnappers to release their colleague and Prof. Nwachukwu’s son.
The statement reads in part, “The latest of these incidents is the kidnap of one of our lecturers, Dr. Boniface Anyanwu, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts and Mr. Nnamdi Nwachukwu, son of another lecturer (Prof. Austin Nwachukwu of the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education) who live at Obiaruku (a neighbouring community to Abraka). This incident occurred at about 3.00 am on Saturday, February 03, 2018.
“The kidnap victims were taken away in the booth of Dr. Boniface Anyanwu’s car. The kidnappers have since made contact with the families of the kidnap victims demanding N10m ransom for the release of each of the victims. This is totally unacceptable.
“The kidnap of lecturers, and/or members of their family, is not only unacceptable, it is also bizarre and primitive. Academics, all over the world, are the springboard of society’s growth and development. This is so because of their role in imparting knowledge to persons who later become builders of societies. A society that has no respect for intellectual resource is destined for doom and damnation.”
ASUU also noted in the statement that DELSU lecturers had become endangered species in the hands of kidnappers. It called on the Delta State Government and security agencies to rise up to the safety of its members.
The statement added, “It is on record that Nigerian lecturers are among the most sought after intellectuals in the world. Many of them have, however, chosen to remain in Nigeria to contribute their quota to the reinventing and regeneration of our society despite the not very conducive environment in which they work and the lean wages.
“To have hoodlums wanting to squeeze them further through kidnap is crossing the threshold. It is pathetic that the extremely patriotic ones who have chosen to stay behind to help build the nation are being picked for ransom by criminally-minded persons and groups. The solution to this lies squarely with government.
“ASUU-DELSU demands that Dr. Boniface Anyanwu and Mr. Nnamdi Nwachukwu be rescued immediately from their abductors or released by the kidnappers without harm and unconditionally immediately,”
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the abduction of the lecturer and his colleague’s son.
Aniamaka said the police had already launched a manhunt for the kidnappers and he gave the assurance that the victims would be rescued unhurt.