–Says Management Must Account For The Monthly 4, 000, 000 Security Votes
By Dafe Rukevwe
The Vice Chancellor of Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, Professor Victor Peretomode, has come under fire from the university’s host community, Oruarivie-Abraka Kingdom, over a press release by the institution that sought to exonerate DELSU from blame as culpable for the murder of Elozino, a 300 level student of the institution who was murdered by ritualists recently.
In a press release made available to Oasis Magazine (OM), Oruarivie-Abraka Kingdom said the press release by DELSU “was specially crafted by the management of Delta State University, Abraka to misinform and blackmail,” saying the university “woefully tried to divert the attention of the students, staff, and the public from its ‘involvement by default’ in the murder of Miss Elozino Ogege, as well as in the shabby manner he (Peretomode) handled issues after the incidence – (and by extension, the inherent rot in the Delta State University, Abraka).”
The press release by the kingdom added: “Instead of accepting responsibility for the unfortunate incidence, the Prof Victor Peretomode-led DELSU-Abraka management team shamefully resorted to a press release to attempt to cover up how his administration contributed to the death of the late Miss Elozino Ogege.
“Does it really matter whether the late Miss Elozino Ogege was abducted on campus or off-campus; and does the place of abduction make her less a student of the Delta State University?
“Is it not true, as alleged that the late Miss Elozino Ogege was alleged to have approached the security man at Site 3, DELSU-Abraka, for his assistance on how to secure a BQ apartment she could rent in the staff quarters on campus, and she was sold out and lured by the security man to the suspected murderers/ritualists who then took her captive? Is it also not true as alleged that the security man collected the telephone (handset) of the victim for himself, after he lured her to her captors and she was taken hostage; was the security man not promised N30, 000 monthly by the other suspects if the deal worked out? And is it not also correct to state here as alleged that luck ran out on the security man and his other accomplices when, during police investigations, the person the security man sold the victim’s handset to, was traced and apprehended by the police, and he confessed to have bought the handset from the security man, and when the security man, was interrogated by the police, he confessed to his involvement in the crime, and how he successfully lured the victim to her death in the hands of the alleged murderers/ritualists?
“So why would Prof Victor Peretomode attempt to create a diversion from the main issues surrounding the unfortunate murder of an innocent student who was a victim of his ‘never-before-seen’ privatization and politicization of the local security on DELSU-Abraka campuses.
“In attempting to blackmail the Abraka Community, Prof Victor Peretomode wants the students, staff, and the public to believe that his poorly conceptualized and poorly constructed speed breakers – (done without due sensitization and engagement with relevant stakeholders, and which even the Controller of Works, Federal Ministry of Works, Asaba, and the Delta State Commissioner of Police, both condemned), would have saved Miss Elozino Ogege from death at the hands of her suspected murderers, which as alleged, includes a security man working with one of the security firms contracted by Prof Victor Peretomode to provide security services at Site III, DELSU-Abraka.”
The press statement continued: “The issue is not about speed breakers, but rather, about the death of one of your very brilliant students, allegedly murdered by suspects, that are also alleged to include one of your employees – a security man. So, we should be discussing security and not speed breakers.
While asking to know what the processes are for the recruitment/engagement of security men and women in DELSU-Abraka, Oruarivie-Abraka Kingdom wondered why the people of Abraka are not considered fit by to be awarded security contracts, or be recruited as security men and women, by the university’s security contractors?
They said further: “Would it be possible for a security contractor, other than an Ijaw person (say, an Urhobo man), to be allowed to operate all the security jobs at the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, or at the School of Marine Technology, Burutu? Would the Ijaw people (youths and elders) allow it? Yet, Prof Victor Peretomode is bold enough to seek the route of blackmail and disregard in his dealings with the Abraka people.
“Ask any security expert, and he/she would tell you that “security is local”, which means that security, is best tackled with local factors. You do not leave security in the hands of stranger elements and visitors, with no fixed addresses, and who know next to nothing about the environment.
“Even when we have capable persons to undertake contract jobs in the host community, ninety-nine percent (99%) of contracts awarded (including security contracts) by the Prof Victor Peretomode-led administration in DELSU-Abraka go to persons from outside the community, and in most cases, to the families, friends/cronies and proxies, who know next to nothing about the security requirements of the environment.
“In what can best be referred to as “I Do Not Care” / or, “Go-to-Hell” attitude”, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victor Peretomode, has continually disregarded and undermined the Abraka Community, especially with regards to all the security initiatives passed on to the University by the Abraka community.
“Is it not on record that the host community, Abraka suggested and even wrote a comprehensive proposal on a joint Campus/Community/Police Committee way back in 2016 to the Vice Chancellor on how to tackle security within and outside the University campuses? In the same vein, and recently too, the current President-General, Oruarivie-Abraka Kingdom, requested for an audience with the Vice Chancellor to discuss important security issues that bother on the security of students living outside the university campus. And what did the Vice Chancellor do about it? Just like he snubbed the community in 2016, he also refused to grant audience to the President General, Oruarivie-Abraka? How else would the Abraka Community be able to contribute to the security of students outside the university campus, when the Vice Chancellor is playing ‘deaf and dumb’, and personalizing and privatizing the political economy of the local security in Abraka?
“A university should not be administered as a personal fiefdom or a personal estate. The welfare and safety of all students and the staff should be of paramount interest to a Vice Chancellor. We say so, because what happened to the late Miss Elozino Ogege could also have happened to any staff of DELSU-Abraka. However, when a Vice Chancellor decides to mortgage the protection and safety of students and staff, for his personal financial enrichment, then we cannot avoid a situation like this.
“The relationship between a university and its host community is like that of the ‘fetus and the placenta’- they both need each other. And especially in the area of security of lives and property, the role of the host community cannot be over emphasized. The Nigerian Police authority would tell you that it is for the importance of ‘local community policing’ that it supports non-governmental agencies like the ‘Police Community Relations Committee’ (PCRC), and the ‘Vigilante Group of Nigeria’ (VGN). In the same vein, most intelligent Vice Chancellors and university management have embraced and exploited the huge relevance and benefits of the ‘Gown and Town’ Committee, which is a committee that brings together the university community and the host community, to seek solutions to common issues and pursue programs and ideas that would bring progress to the university and the community.
“DELSU-Abraka under the administration of Prof Victor Peretomode, is all about money! money!! money!!! without efficiency and competence. There are no thoughts or plans for the students’ welfare and safety. It is all about how much money Prof Victor Peretomode can fleece from students and their parents. This is why DELSU-Abraka is the only University in Nigeria where MSc and PhD students are forcefully compelled to pay N150, 000 and N200, 000 respectively for them to be allowed to defend their research projects at the Post Graduate School. Replacement of a lost Student’s Identity Card is Twenty Thousand Naira (N20, 000).
“We challenge Prof Victor Peretomode to say that DELSU-Abraka does not get its budgetary allocations, plus the hugely undeclared internally generated revenue (IGR). What about the huge funds allocated by the University to security; and what happens to the over N4, 000, 000 allocated to the Office of the Vice Chancellor, DELSU-Abraka, as ‘security votes’ on a monthly basis?
All attempts by this medium to get the reaction of the VC to the press release from the palace proved abortive, as he did not respond to phone calls or reply test messages sent to his mobile phone number.