Nigerian Students Hold an Administrator Hostage and Then Free Him

Nigerian Students Hold an Administrator Hostage and Then Free Him

 

The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 19, 2000

 

By DAVID AQUILA LAWRENCE

 

Rioting students in southern Nigeria have released the vice chancellor of Delta State University at Abraka after taking him hostage last Tuesday. The whereabouts of a senior lecturer at the university remain unknown.

 

An unidentified group of students held Ovie Igun, the vice chancellor, overnight and released him unharmed. Police sources told Nigeria's Vanguard Daily that the groups of students who abducted the vice chancellor came from across many of Nigeria's frequently feuding ethnic groups. Mr. Igun told police officials that the students had tried to get him to sign an agreement with them but that he had refused.

 

Abednego Ekoko, the former vice chancellor and current senior lecturer, was also taken hostage when students broke into his house.

 

Last week's disturbances, which involved hundreds of students, were spurred by the university's attempt to levy a tax on students to pay for property damaged in another demonstration in June. Police officials told the Vanguard that the university's student government had gone underground.

 

Nigeria's ailing university system is shaken regularly by teacher strikes and violent student protests.

 

In the north of Nigeria, where Islamic groups have tried to introduce religious law, students clashed last week at Abubakar

Tawafa University in Bauchi. At least 25 students were injured in fighting between Muslim and Christian students, which also

caused widespread property damage.

 

 

Copyright 2000 by The Chronicle of Higher Education