25th August, 2010
Students of the College of Education, Afaha Nsit in Akwa Ibom, on Tuesday staged a violent protest against the kidnapping of their lecturer.
The students barricaded and disrupted traffic on Etinan-Eket road, chanting war songs.
Dr. Ekanem Archibong Ekanem, was reported to have been kidnapped in his residence a fortnight ago at Ikot Ekwere Itam, near Uyo, barely two weeks after the burial of his late wife.
Ekanem, who teaches Physical and Health Education, is also the Director of Continuing Education at the College.Â The students, who blocked the main entrance into the college, took the action barely 24 hours after their teachers had commenced work-to-rule action to protest against the continued detention of their colleagues in the kidnappersâ€™ camp.
Sources at the college told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the abductors of the teacher had reached the school authorities, demanding a ransom of N20 million.
Speaking with NAN, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Walter Rugbere, confirmed that the incident had been reported to the police.
“We have talked to the students and have persuaded them to return back to their school and they have complied.
“We have also appealed to them to give necessary information that will lead to the arrest of the kidnappers to the police.Â We have no clue to the whereabouts of the lecturer, we have not been able to succeed so far,” Rugbere said.
Rugbere said that the police would not support the payment of ransom and advised the family of the lecturer not to do so.
NAN reports that Ekanem is the second lecturer to be kidnapped at the college.
A former Head of Department of Political Science, Mr. Ofonime Akpan, was kidnapped sometime ago.
Kidnapping of lecturers is not peculiar to the college alone; the University of Uyo had two of its Professors abducted this year.