… demand transfer of Commissioner Gwandu
By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU has described the recent outburst by the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Haliru Gwandu as a macabra dance aimed at discrediting the reputation of the Ambrose Ali University and the hard work of its lecturers.
Briefing newsmen, the Chairman Ekpoma Branch of ASUU, Monday Igbafen said the CP is trying to justify the brutalization of the Dean of Law, Professor Sunday Edeko who they also forced to write a statement and an apology letter.
The ASUUChairman flayed the Police CP for transferring ASP Ojo who led the anti-cultism team and demanded to know the names of the lecturers claimed to have been arrested, where the dead bodies or human skulls were allegedly recovered and if they were students or indigenes of Ekpoma town.
Igbafen stated that it was unprofessional for the Commissioner Gwandu to allege that some lecturers were arrested with firearms without bringing it to the knowledge of the management for redress.
Also, he condemned the commissioner for instead of applying diplomacy to resolve the matter between the lecturer and his men but toe the path of lies and blackmail and painted a fairy picture of what didn’t happened.
Furthermore, Igbafen explained that the only case that investigation brought to the knowledge of the leadership of ASUU was that of a lecturer who was arrested with fire arms in February and was released after presenting the licences to the fire arms because he was a member of the vigilante group in Ekpoma.
Igbafen however noted that there were no report to the university against the said lecturer, he was not paraded, he didn’t appear in court but did what he described as business with the police and was released.
He said the union is a disciplined one and will not raise false alarm or harbour any lecturer who is involved in cult activities.
Igbafen therefore called on the Assistant Inspector General of Police inch age of Zone 5 Mr Abubarka Muhammad and the Inspector General of Police, to transfer the Edo CP and launch a proper investigation to unravel the misconceptions fed to the public by Mr Haliru Gwandu.
According to Igbafen, “While ASUU AAU Ekpoma is not in the position to vouch for any member on issues bothering on member of secret cults, it seems to us that the commissioner of police has a record or register of members of secret cults in the university as evident in his conclusion given his so-called resolve to deal decisively with cult members in the university.”
“If this is genuinely the case, ASUU would have been willing to collaborate with him to completely stamp out cultism in the university. ASUU is not aware that any lecturer was arrested for possession of firearms or being a member of any secret cult group”, he said.
He continued, “It is a calculated attempt to bring AAU to public odium. It is a macabre dance meant to rubbish the reputation of the university and it’s hardworking staff. In fact, this story is a cleaver attempt by the commissioner to cover up a lingering case of unwarranted arrest and unjustifiable brutalisation of the Dean faculty of law, Professor Sunday Edeko by men of the so-called special anti-cult squad which is said to be the brain child of the police.”
“Rather than do the needful by applying diplomacy and calling a peace meeting of stakeholders in the university and the police to address the problem at hand, the commissioner decided to toe the path of lies, dishonor and blackmail claiming that his men have arrested some lecturers and professor of out university.
“As a union, our members used to take police briefing as serious business buy from this macabre dance we know better now and have resolved to take any briefing by the police with a pinch of salt.
“How and why should a police officer of the rank of Commissioner of police descend so low to fabricate monkey tales about the arrest of phantom cultists and gunrunners when he knows that the issue before him is just to investigate and tell the world whether his killer gang in Ekpoma was right or wrong in the unjust brutalization of Prof Edeko and other innocent young men and women in Ekpoma and environs.
“We make bold to say that Commissioner Gwandu can’t hide under his unfounded tale. He must produce ASP Ojo and his men in public and offer a convincing narrative to justify their ruthless presence and operations in Ekpoma. If he can’t then he must apologize to the victims of their ruthless and nefarious activities.
“ASUU AAU Ekpoma calls on the AIG zone 5 and the Inspector General of police to properly investigate commissioner Gwandu and his activities in Edo state. We have immense confidence in the police. We demand the immediate transfer of Haliru Gwandu. Edo state is a civilize state and we deserve a truly patriotic commissioner of police”, he declared.
It would be recalled that the commissioner of Police Mr Haliru Gwandu had during the week disclosed that some lecturers were arrested for with firearms while the remains of 16 beheaded students were allegedly found in a site in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government area of the state.