Sunday, 11 September 2016

Gunmen invade University of Calabar, abducts Dean's son.

Armed gunmen, suspected to be militants, on Thursday invaded the staff quarters of the University of Calabar, Cross River State and abducted the  a first-year student in the Department of Banking and Finance, Onyebuchi Okwueze.

Onyebuchi is the son of the Dean of Graduate School, Prof. Emeka Okwueze.

After abducting Onyebuchi, the gunmen had while escaping, inflicted injuries on a lecturer in the Department of Physics, Dr Anthony George and his wife who were driving in and got caught up in the attack.

The gunmen were said to have gained entry to the staff quarters through the porous boundary with the creeks of Calabar estuaries.

Earlier in May 2016, gunmen suspected to be militants had through the same route stormed the quarters and abducted the wife of a lecturer, Mrs. Nancy Ndifon alongside her daughter, Oyebah. The same gang also abducted a medical doctor, David Iniama, in the same premises.

Southern City News learnt on Friday that the gunmen had stormed the premises of the dean who was unavailable at the time of the attack, broke into his house and made away with his Plasma television and his 24-year-old son who was the only one at home.

After abducting Onyebuchi, the anonymous source said that the gunmen had on their way out at about 8.15pm shot Dr. Anthony George on his right hand, while his wife sustained bullet injuries on the left knee.

It was learnt that both are however responding to treatment at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.

She said, “Though they made unsuccessful attempts to gain entrance into the stretch of houses accommodating staff within the wing of buildings, the gunmen however smashed the mirror and front tyre of a Mercedes Benz vehicle belonging to a professor in the College of Medical Sciences, Prof. Chucks Ejezie.

“You will recall that in the month of May this year, kidnappers invaded the same wing of buildings and took away with them the son of a Deputy Registrar, Mr. Ekpenyong Iniama and the wife and daughter of Prof Wilfred Ndifon of the College of Medical Sciences, both were later released.”
In his reaction, the Vice-Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof Zana Akpagu, who visited the homes of the affected staff, promised to do all within the purview of his office to ensure the release of those kidnapped and also fish out the kidnappers.

He also pledged to work with the relevant security agencies to ensure continued safety of lives and property on campus.

In the bid to checkmate future occurrence of the event, the Deputy Chief Security Officer of UNICAL, Mr. Jarlath Abang, in a statement of Friday disclosed that several security measures had been put in place by the management of the institution in conjunction with the Cross River State Government to ensure safety of lives.

“The measures covered and implemented in the joint initiative include among others , demolition of all shanties at the waterfront by the Cross River State Government,  prohibition of fishing and farming at the water front, displacement of illegal occupants and constant patrol of the quarters both by security operatives on foot and vehicles,” he said.

The Deputy Chief Security Officer attributed the delay in the distress call as a major reason for the kidnappers’ tentative gain.

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