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Varsity lecturer in 13 months’ salary arrears commits suicide in Edo State – Chairman COEASU

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

It was tragic for friends, family, and colleagues of Mr Friday Orobator, principal lecturer of defunct College of Education, now Tayo Akpata University, Ekiadolor, Edo State, who committed suicide by hanging himself at his Obakhazbaye residence last Friday.

Orobator’s lifeless body was discovered behind his apartment at about 1:30 pm with a rope tied around his neck. The tragic incident attracted a large crowd of neighbours, sympathisers and passersby, who expressed shock over his death.

The late Orobator was a member of the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and a principal lecturer at the department of Adult Education. 

He was said to have complained bitterly to close associates of his inability and lack of money to attend to his failing health.

It was learnt that, last Wednesday, the late lecturer said to be in his 50s had told a colleague that he was tired of begging for money from friends to cater for his family needs and his health challenges.

Attempts to get his family members at his Obakhazbaye residence to comment on the incident were unsuccessful, as they were mourning the demise of their breadwinner.

However, the chairman of COEASU, Comrade Fred Omonuwa, said their colleague died as a result of lack of money to access medical facilities. 

The chairman, therefore, appealed to the state government to pay the workers their 13 months’ salary arrears. 

“It is clear the death came as a result of lack and inability to access medical facilities. Some months ago, he became very sick and depended on friends for assistance, but very recently he started complaining of getting tired of consistently begging to survive.

“Of course, everybody knows that Edo State owes us 13 months of salaries, which we have continued to agitate for even before the election, but it was tagged, ‘political agitation.’ The man couldn’t provide for himself. His wife just had a baby. We were surprised yesterday, Friday, that he took his own life. 

“Before he committed suicide, he spoke to some colleagues on Wednesday complaining bitterly of his inability to access medical facilities and, that, he is becoming very ashamed of begging friends for money to treat himself. 

“We are aware some friends in Lagos and Benin have done their best in the past few weeks by providing money for him, and yesterday he took his life by hanging. We are very much aware that the suicide he committed was as a result of lack of money,” Omonuwa said. 

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