Vice Chancellor (VC) of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Professor Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, has called on security agencies to prevail in finding lasting solution to incessant attacks on students and staff of the Rivers state-owned institution.
TheNewsGuru reports Ndimele made the call on Monday following series of attacks on the institution, which the VC revealed that following Saturday’s attack on the school, the hoodlums stroke again.
“Community hoodlums last night again invaded the Ndele Campus of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education and attempted to kidnap one of our lecturers. He was severely jostled and about to be whisked away when security operatives on campus intervened to rescue him,” the VC said.
Ndimele narrated that this year alone, Dr. Kalio, an Associate Professor with the Department of Agricultural Science, and three female students were separately kidnapped from the Ndele Campus.
He said, “In 2016, armed robbers also invaded the Ndele campus and killed a member of staff and in separate operations kidnapped some members of staff and secondary school children of our NDSS. The community leaders from Ndele are aware of these ungodly incidences”.
He went further to say, “We spent huge sums of money to clear the forest in front of the campus which was the den of hoodlums and converted the area into a huge vegetable farm. The new strategy is to pull down the walls behind the campus through which they invade us at will. We spend money on regular basis to fix the fences as they pull them down.
“Where it hurts most is that we are in the process of creating new programmes to be hosted at the Ndele Campus. As a University of Education, we are discussing with NUC and NCCE to run dual mode, so that we can bring back the NCE programme which was suspended when we became a fully-fledged university.
“Our proposal is to also domicile the NCE programmes at Ndele to maximize the space and to increase students’ population there. But the fear to pull through these lofty ideas is the security challenges at Ndele”.
TheNewsGuru reports on Saturday night, the hoodlums had stormed and attacked students at the Rivers state-owned university.
Professor Ndimele lamented that Saturday’s incident was the third time in two months hoodlums from the community would attack the school, before the Sunday’s incident.
“Last night, some hoodlums from Ndele community stormed our students’ hostels on campus for the third time in two months to attack students.
“Due to insecurity, the majority of our students left the Ndele community and entered the hostels. Let me also mention that because of the attack on students who lived outside the school, the University management throw open the hostels for free accommodation so that all students would be residential at the Ndele Campus.
“What now is our offence that they visit the hostels at will with dangerous weapons to attack and force our students to sleep in bushes?
“It is unbecoming of a gang of community boys from Ndele to frustrate a most civilizing facility as a university which most communities are praying to be sited at their place.
“In addition to the University security men, we have engaged armed policemen who patrol the campus.
“But our worry is that these hoodlums from Ndele have no regard for the presence of armed policemen around the campus.
“They are rather tempting the armed policemen to confront them in what might result in a deadly clash,” the Vice-Chancellor stated.
Ndimele appealed to the chiefs and elders of Ndele, the Federal and Rivers state governments for a lasting solution to the incessant attacks.
He also appealed to staff and students to be law-abiding, while assuring that if the attacks persist, the university management might be forced to relocate the IAUE campus from Ndele community.
“Let the world hear us again; the sanctity of an Ivory Tower is being violated with impunity. Let the hoodlums from the Ndele community be told in clear terms that our patience is being over-stretched,” he said.