Usually, when students are graduating from the university and are awarded their certificates, they are declared to be found worthy in character and in learning.

Supposedly, this implies that the graduating students were taught academically and morally, such that they are fit to contribute positively to the society.

The task of imparting knowledge and character to these young people fall squarely on the shoulders of their lecturers.

Imagine the shock and trauma one poor girl’s family has endured to watch the dehumanizing treatment meted out to their daughter by a lecturer the federal government entrusted with developing her knowledge and character.

I was deeply traumatized when I read the story of Blessing Mathias of Jalingo in Taraba State.

Blessing was friends with Emmanuella Ekpa Ayokhai. One day, she discovered that Emmanuella had secretly been chatting with her boyfriend.

Unfortunately, Blessing being inadequately trained in character, decided to physically accost Emmanuella. Some yelling happened, some hair pulling took place and some slaps were landed. All of these were indelicately delivered by Blessing as she tried to get Emmanuella to delete her boyfriend’s number from her phone.

This is totally condemnable. It is called bullying and should not be tolerated.

What the father of Emmanuella did in reaction to this incident, however, is nothing short of attempted murder and a hybrid combo of mafioso and banditry style terrorism rolled into one. 

Most disturbing is that Emmanuella’s father – Dr. Fred Ekpa Ayokhai – is a lecturer.

He teaches at the Federal University Lafia, FULAF, where the now two former friends are students.

The lecturer turned mafia don arranged for his family members to kidnap Blessing and torture her by beating her mercilessly. 

The ASUU member desirous of a new career as a gangster also took the madness further by stripping Blessing to the waist while carrying out an inquisition that ancient Spain would have envied.

There is no doubt that the intention here was not only to torture and humilate Blessing but possibly to kill her as well.

I understand Blessing is currently undergoing treatment for external and internal injuries.

It is difficult to imagine the level of trauma this 20-year-old is going through from this ordeal.

The tormentors of Blessing even videoed their crime and had the guts to shamelessly post it on social media. I have seen the video. She was taken into the bush and left there. There was no shred of good intention in the wicked hearts of her tormentors.

It is very hard to recover from watching it that highly disturbing video. The sight of the girl on her knees crying pitiably and begging for her life is heart wrenching.

At a point, she was on the floor screaming whilst her tormentors took turns brutalising her.

This cannot be allowed to go without heavy punishment which must include the sack of Dr. Ayokhai, his imprisonment after due process of the law, the expulsion of any students who participated in this bloodthirst orgy and the incarceration of all other participants.

This report has been forwarded to the wife of the Nassarawa State governor – Her Excellency, Hajia Silifat Sule. 

Madam, as the mother of the state, I urge you to step in and champion justice for Blessing.

I also call on the hard working Director-General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, to swing into action for Blessing.

The actions of Ayokhai is consistent with a cult enabler.

Therefore, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, who is well-known for his fierce anti-cultism stand, should please wade in and make an example of this self styled cult capo.

The National Human Rights Commission, the International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, must rise to the occasion and ensure that this man understands that it is an intolerable taboo for a grown man, or anyone for that matter, to strip a young woman naked and torture her.

I also call on the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to disclaim this negative outlier, Dr. Fred Ekpa Ayokhai, and slam him with appropriate sanctions to fit the huge disrepute he has brought upon the body of ASUU, especially at a time when ASUU is struggling for the stability of university education in Nigeria.

On my part, I will continue to yell out from the top of my voice until justice is served.

There must be Justice for Blessing Mathias!


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