Peter Dada, Akure
The Chairman of the Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Dr Dipo Komolafe, has said that the killing of Prof. Gideon Okedayo is likely a case of assassination and not kidnap as speculated.
The entire university community had been thrown into mourning following the death of Prof. Okedayo.
The 51-year-old don and his driver were reportedly kidnapped in Edo State on their way to his home town, Igira in Kogi State by gunmen. But his driver, who later escaped from the kidnappers’ den reported to the police.
Some hours later, the Edo State Police Command said it recovered the vehicle of the deceased at the scene of the abduction but could not locate the whereabouts of the vehicle’s owner. Few days later, the lifeless body of the late professor was discovered few meters away from the scene of the abduction.
Komolafe, who spoke with our correspondent, expressed the need for security agencies to carry out thorough investigation into the death of the professor, saying the matter was more than a case of kidnapping.
He said, “It is very painful when you see a professor killed by miscreants. They did not contact the school or the family for ransom; that is where we are so surprised about his death. We never thought he could just die like that.
“From what we have gathered so far, I think he was killed on the exact day he was kidnapped. So we are thinking on another line; maybe it was an assassination and not kidnap because the essence of kidnapping is for ransom. The people don’t kidnap to kill, they kidnap to collect money. Even if the kidnappers will eventually kill, they would still demand ransom. As I am talking to you, they did not call anybody. So we don’t believe it was kidnapping.
“We are suspecting a foul play, we are not thinking of anywhere but we are suspecting foul play because initially the moment the incident happened, the driver reported at the police station and if the policemen had actually swung into action, there is the likelihood that they would have recovered him or at least captured him back but I don’t think the police took any action about it.”
Similarly, the Chairman of Joint Action Committee of Staff Unions of the university, Mr Temidayo Temola, blamed security agencies in Edo State for not being proactive enough to rescue the deceased,
He said, “We maintain that the relevant security agencies were not proactive enough despite immediate report by his (Okedayo’s) driver who narrowly escaped from the abductors.”
While calling on security agencies to fish out the killers of the professor, Temola called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately overhaul the security apparatus in the country, saying “Nigerians deserve a safer ambience in their own land.”
Meanwhile, the remains of the slain professor will be buried on Saturday (today).
The Chairman of Joint Action Committee of Staff Unions of the Osustech, Mr Temidayo Temola, confirmed this to our correspondent on Friday.
He said the late professor would be buried at his residence at Idepe Okitipupa in the Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state.
Efforts to speak with the family members of the deceased at his residence in Okitipupa were turned down as they insisted the deceased was a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and in line with the tradition of the church, no one could speak on the matter except permitted by the church to do so.
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