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Bandits attack hostels in Zamfara, kidnap varsity students

BANDITS have abducted several students of the Federal University of Gusau, Zamfara State.

The bandits invaded the private hostels of the students in the Sabon-Gida community of the Bungudu Local Government Area of the state in the early hours of Friday, September 22. Sabon-Gida is a few meters away from the university.

Sources in the school disclosed to The ICIR that the bandits went away with no fewer than 25 students (largely female students).

One of the sources, a student at the university, Mubarak (surname withheld), said, “I heard that they kidnapped 25 girls, and some are in 300 levels and 200 levels studying Biology Education. I don’t know the department of others yet.”

“Students used to live in two places off campus – Sabon-Gida and Damba – before. But they said Damba wasn’t secure, and people asked us to go to Sabon-Gida, which we did. Now, they have entered Sabon-Gida and abducted 25 girls. The last time they kidnapped people in Damba, it was four. Before, the highest they would take away was two or three, and the last was five. Now it’s 25,” he exclaimed.

He, however, stated that the Nigerian Army rescued six out of the 25 girls after a face-off with the bandits.

Mubarak said the bandits had warned that they would attack some of the hostels and kidnap 100 students in the past. “They vowed that they would abduct 100, kill 30, and the government would pay ransoms for 70.

“Now they have started their mission and went with 24, they are still coming back to abduct the remaining 76 if care is not taken,” he added.

Speaking on how the incident has sparked fear among students, Mubarak mentioned that his parents were against him going to campus due to the incident.

He noted that most students in the axis had deserted the place to find safety elsewhere.

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While recounting the incident, sources in Sabon-Gida told Channels TV that the gunmen invaded the community around 3 a.m. and started shooting sporadically.

“They were seriously engaged with the army troops, but the way these bandits operate, they will divide themselves into two, one group will move with the kidnapped victims while the other will stay behind to protect the first group.

“The first group had left with the students while the second group engaged the army in a gun duel,” a source revealed.

Efforts by The ICIR to get the school management and Zamfara Police command to speak on the incident proved abortive as calls and SMS were not answered or replied to.

Although the number of students abducted by the bandits was believed to be higher, it wasn’t the first time terrorists would kidnap students from the Gusau university. 




     

     

    On Friday, June 16, bandits kidnapped five students from the institution. This incident led to student protests, resulting in a road blockade and leaving many motorists stranded for several hours.

    One of the students, Musa Shehu, who spoke to Punch, stated that many students had been kidnapped in the past, but not much was done to rescue them.

     “A lot of students have been kidnapped from this institution, but no positive action is taken to rescue them.

    “There are some students currently in bandits camp, and the authorities are not making any move to rescue them.”

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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