***Demands Airforce Base Relocation
By Chioma Godwin
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics ( ASUP) has petitioned the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Isiaka Oladayo Amao over the killing of her member Mr. Steve Nduka Okonye, a lecturer of Computer Science Department, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede.
Mr Okonye was on 25th of January, 2021 by men in military attire and suspected to be from the 211 Regiment Group of Nigeria Airforce located in Naze, Owerri, Imo State at about 7.00 p.m.
The petition which was signed by president of ASUP, Comrade Anderson IJ. Ezeibe dated February 1, 2021 said the incident took place along the Owerri Aba express road (close to the 211 Regiment Group base) where the deceased who was carrying 3 other friends (ex-students of the institution in his Car from Church met their untimely death.
Comrade Ezeibe expressed regret that days after the incident, no statement from the Airforce hierarchy.
This has left the Polytechnic community in a tense mode since then with staff and students living in fear.
“Reports of different levels of molestation of staff (including our members) and students of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede have been received by our Union in the recent past since the establishment of the 211 REGIMENT BASE in Naze, a community of close proximity to the Federal Polytechnic Nekede.
“The location of accommodation facilities for the force men in NEKEDE, the host community of the Polytechnic where they cohabit with
staff and students of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede has led to different levels of molestation of staff and students by the force men.
It is the conviction of our Union that the location of the base (particularly its accommodation facility) within the densely populated Polytechnic host community is offensive to several regional and international protocols, instruments and military manuals.
“We are also of the belief that the provisions of the Nigerian Military Manual (1994) does not support the current location of the 211 REGIMENT BASE and its accommodation facility.
“We are therefore bringing this to the knowledge of the Nation’s Chief of Army Staff to enable an unfettered investigation into the matter with a view to bringing the killers of Mr. Steve Nduka Okonye and his friend to book.
‘Adequate compensation to the families of the deceased, and Relocation of the accommodation facilities of the airforce men from the Polytechnic host community to avoid the frequent molestation of staff and students of the Polytechnic.”.