This is not the best of times for Acting Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ebonyi State University chapter, Ikechuku Igwenyi, said to gone under because the state Governor, David Umahi is practically demanding for his hide.
The governor was said to have ordered that he should be ferreted out from anywhere he is holing up and dealt with decisively for causing insecurity in the state and for particularly opposing the resumption of full academic activities on campus.
However, the ASUU boss, speaking from his current hideout, is denying that he is deliberately creating any problem in the state, saying that his sin was to insist on the demands of the members that the benefits due them be made available as they were of right and not privileges.
It was gathered that Igwenyi took flight of his family compound at Mebi-Owa Okposi in Ohaozara Local government Area of the state, when he learnt of the governor’s order to a delegation that visited him that the ASUU leader must be fished out dead or alive and dealt with.
Part of the order, according to a source, was for his (governor’s) loyalists to take over both the Okposi and Abakaliki residences of the ASUU leader, a mandate which is already being carried out.
Igwenyi, an associate Professor, had on New Year eve, alerted the world before fleeing his town of Okposi that he was not taking the governor’s alleged threat lying low given his antecedents.
The statement reads in part: “Ohaozara stakeholders visited Governor David Umahi in the spirit of Christmas at his country home in Uburu on 28th December, 2020. In his response, instead of addressing the issues raised by the people, he [the Governor] rather spent time instigating the people against the Acting Chairman of ASUU EBSU, Comrade Ikechuku O. Igwenyi.
“He claimed Comrade Igwenyi is playing double standards and MUST be made to leave the University by all means. He stated that Comrade Igwenyi is the reason there is no peace in the State and in the University and requested the people of Ohaozara to raise 1000 youths and occupy the residence of Comrade Ikechuku Igwenyi at Abakaliki for seven days, after which his parents will be apprehended and family home at Okposi will be occupied for another seven days.
“He maintained that any perceived opposition should be beaten to unconsciousness and handed over to security agencies. He urged the traditional rulers to initiate plans to ostracise the Igwenyi family from Okposi should he fail to leave the seat as ASUU Chairperson and resign from the University as his APC government will not tolerate any nonsense and would knock any perceived opposition in the mouth.
“Comrade Igwenyi has not done anything wrong by effectively representing the interest of the workers union and has not been found wanting as a Lecturer, supervisor, guidance and counsellor, Head of Department of Biochemistry, or in research and development in the society.
“Note that EBSU staff members are owed arrears of six months’ salary, paid amputated salary for July and August while third party deductions are owed since May 2020. EBSU staff are denied promotions and when released, it will have a notional effect between 42 months to 54 months while the last appraisal was three years ago.
“As the mouthpiece of the Union and a messenger, how is Igwenyi the problem of the State? As political allies to the Governor of Ebonyi State in Ohaozara are planning to occupy Comrade Igwenyi’s home and expel his family from the community, one pertinent question is how Comrade Ikechuku Igwenyi has become a threat to peace in the University and Ebonyi State that the Governor is mobilizing 1,000 youths against him.
“On this note, it has become imperative that the life of Comrade Ikechuku Okorie Igwenyi and family is under intense threat and should anything happen to Comrade Igwenyi and family, everyone now knows who to hold responsible. Igwenyi Family has met the same day and is preparing for the onslaught and ASUU EBSU will not be left out. People close to government and security agencies should be advised that a stitch in time will definitely save nine because to regret is to be late.”
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