Police confirm abduction of 3 UNICAL students on campus

THE Cross River Police Command has confirmed the abduction of three students from the University of Calabar (UNICAL).

Public Relations Officer of the Command, Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident to the media on Sunday, March 31.

Ugbo disclosed that the incident occurred on Thursday, March 28, and the students were abducted from one of the hostels on the university campus.

She also said the police were working with other security agencies to ensure their release.

Abduction of students has become a source of concern in Nigeria, where the number of out-of-school children is very high.

In 2023, The ICIR reported that Nigeria had 19.7 million out-of-school children and was the country with the third highest number of children deprived of education according to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2020 Model Estimates.

On Thursday, March 7, about 287 students and their principal were reportedly abducted by terrorists from the LEA Primary School in Kuriga, a community within the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The incident generated public outcry, with several leaders, including President Bola Tinubu, calling for their immediate release.

Over two weeks later, the Defence Headquarters announced that the abducted children were not 287, but 137 and confirmed they had been rescued.

Abduction of schoolchildren became common in Nigeria, especially in the North, after nearly 300 students were abducted by terrorists from a school in Chibok, Borno State, in 2014.



    Findings by The ICIR show that bandits and terrorist groups have disrupted the Nigerian education system, kidnapping over 1,000 students in the last decade.

    Within the past three administrations, the abduction of school children has generated millions in ransom for kidnappers, leaving affected citizens with no hope of a possible end.

    Student abduction occurs in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

    Among the tertiary institutions where students have been whisked away are Federal University Dutsin Ma, Katsina State, in 2023; Federal University, Gusau, in Zamfara state, in 2022, and the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, in 2021.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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