A lecturer at the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH) in Okitipupa, Ondo State, Prof. Gideon Okedayo, has been kidnapped at Akoko Junction on the Igara-Auch highway in Edo State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the latest abduction took place barely two months after the killing of the daughter of a chieftain of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere on the Ondo-Ore highway in Ondo State.
The daughter of Afenifere Chairman, Pa Reuben Fasorotin, Mrs Funke Olakurin, was murdered by people described as Fulani herdsmen on the Ondo-Ore highway in Ondo State on July 12.
Her killing sparked national outrage with the Federal Government pledging to deploy security operatives on major highways nationwide.
Okedayo, of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and Acting Dean of the School of Post Graduate Studies in OSUSTECH, was kidnapped on Sept. 5 on his way to his hometown in Igara, Edo State.
The lecturer’s driver, Mr Sunday Omonigbo, who spoke with NAN on telephone on Friday on the development, said the abduction happened at a bad spot on Akoko Junction on the Igara-Auchi highway.
Omonigbo said that Okedayo’s official car, a Toyota Corolla car with registration number, 06X47OD, was stopped abruptly by gunmen, who fired gun shots in the air.
“The gunmen who looked like Fulani herdsmen stopped us and fired gun shots in the air. They cut my right hand with cutlass, ordered me to come down and took my boss away in his official car.
“I ran to the Igara Police Station to report the matter. As I am speaking with you now, my boss is nowhere to be found,” Omonigbo stated.
The Chairman of the OSUSTECH Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr Dipo Akomolafe, who also confirmed the incident, told NAN that the institution was in disarray after the news was received.
Akomolafe said he had reported the matter to the Okitipupa Police Division, pleading with security agencies to rescue Okedayo from his abductors.
“He was travelling to his hometown in Igara and he drove through Auchi but was kidnapped shortly before Igara. His driver was seriously injured during the encounter.
“The OSUSTECH authorities and ASUU are working vigorously towards his safe release from his abductors as we have reported the case at the Okitipupa Police Division.
“All security agencies within and outside the state have been duly informed and I enjoin our members to be prayerful and be security conscious at this moment and thereafter.”
Akomolafe urged all ASUU members to pray for the release of Okedayo.
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Police Command spokesman, Mr Femi Joseph, told NAN that the incident did not happen within the command’s jurisdiction and that the abduction should be confirmed in Edo State where it happened.
The Divisional Police Officer of the Igara Police Division Mr Ijana Awison, said the matter had been reported in the division.
He, however, declined further comments. (NAN)