UNICAL workers raise alarm on plot to kidnap principal officers
Workers under the aegis of Academy and Combined Concerned Workers of the University of Calabar on Friday raised the alarm over an alleged plot to kidnap some principal officers of the institution.
The workers, in a press briefing in Calabar, Cross River State, alleged that hoodlums have threatened that if they will go after the children or wards of the principal officers if they fail to get their targets.
The acting Head of Department of Modern Languages in the university, Dr. Sampson Uzuanke, who spoke as chairman of the group, said the group would not take the matter lightly considering the recent cases of kidnappings in the residential quarters of the institution.
At least no fewer than 10 lecturers including wives and wards have been reportedly kidnapped in the last one year from the institution’s staff quarters.
He wondered why such threat would come at a crucial period when the university community was preparing for its 30th convocation ceremony.
Uzuanke said, “We got the information that some disgruntled elements who are working with some forces outside the university have concluded plans to kidnap top principal officers or their children or wards.
“Information at our disposal have shown that those behind the dastardly plot have gone ahead to recruit cultists and hoodlums to cause mayhem within the academic community.
“Such threats can no longer be taken lightly as this group in collaboration with other concerned workers of the university and security agency will go the whole hog to ensure that those behind it are arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.”
Also decrying the threat, secretary of the group, Dr. Ayuk Achu, said the intention of the plotters was to not only to disrupt the pending 30th convocation ceremony, but to further portray the revered institution in bad light.
Achu maintained that the university was noted for its peaceful co-existent and academic excellence, warning that students and majority of the staff would not fold their hands and watch any person or group of persons undermine the security of the institution.
Also, another coordinator of the group, Mr. Johnson Inyang, appealed to students and other unions within the university community to rise up to the security challenge and not allow themselves to be used by mischief makers.
Inyang, who is a senior staff in the Faculty of Arts, called on security agencies from within and outside the school to save the institution of the embarrassing threats.
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, said that he was not aware of the development, but promised to beef up security in the school.
“We are not aware of the threat for now but we will rise up to the challenge by doing the needful. All the police divisions around the school will be put on alert,” he promised.