Unidentified gunmen yesterday stormed the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) campus and whisked away a lecturer, prof. John Okoli.
The abducted lecturer is a lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering and was kidnapped at gunpoint from his residence in Omuoko, Aluu community in the Ikwerre Local Government Area.
It will be recalled that a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry, Dr Reginald Ohiri, was kidnapped last week.
Thesheet.ng learnt that six days after the release of Ohiri, some gunmen again attacked the institution and whisked away Okoli who is the Director of Offshore Technology Institute.
The rampant kidnapping cases have caused fear among the lecturers as some of them had reportedly gone into hiding.
While confirming the event, the spokesman for UNIPORT, Dr William Wodi said; “I have just confirmed that Prof. John Okoli, the Director of the Offshore Technology Institute, was kidnapped. He is of the Faculty of Engineering.
“It is becoming turn-by-turn in UNIPORT. The situation is becoming the ‘new normal’ and seriously hampering our core mandate of teaching, research and public service.
“Staff members live in fear and they ask, ‘who is next?’ Experts from abroad, who may wish to collaborate with us, are becoming increasingly hesitant to come to UNIPORT.
“This distasteful trend is affecting scholarship and freedom of movement. Our appeal is that security agencies should urgently come to our aid before it is too late.
“Meanwhile, concerted efforts are on to free Prof. Okoli, who is just a teacher, with no resources to pay a ransom. We appeal to his abductors to free him unconditionally.”
Wodi however urged the kidnappers to free Okoli unconditionally, even as he urged the government and security operatives to help the school.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of Rivers State Police Command, Mr. Nnmandi Omoni, said the matter had been reported to the police. He however, noted that he had not been fully briefed on the incident.
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