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Gunmen kidnap three Benue varsity students, Zaria housewives, children

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Gunmen have abducted three students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, in Benue State, and two housewives with their children from their Zaria homes in Kaduna State.

The students were reportedly kidnapped on Sunday in the College of Engineering area of the school.

Director of Information, Protocol and Public Relations Unit, Rosemary Waku, confirmed the development on Monday but did not give the number of students abducted.

“An unconfirmed number of students of FUAM were abducted at gunpoint by unknown persons from the campus on Sunday 25th April 2021. The university has reported the incident to the police and all relevant security agencies.

“The university has not heard anything from the students or their captors since the unfortunate incident took place.”

Spokesperson for the police in the state, Catherine Anene, said the commissioner of police had ordered investigation into the incident.

The development is coming less than a week after students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, were abducted, three of who were later found dead.

Meanwhile, another set of bandits, who invaded Kofar Kuyambana Low-cost estate in the Zaria area of Kaduna, abducted two housewives and three children.

The gunmen were said to have stormed the Kuyambana community around 10pm on Sunday and attacked two houses in the area.

Five Almajiri children were said to have been hit by stray bullets during the attack.

Five out of the suspected gunmen, who invaded the communities, were also said to have been arrested.

Kaduna Police Command spokesman, ASP Mohammad Jalige, who confirmed the attack, said only two criminal suspects were arrested and the Command will issue a statement on the incident.

A source said the gunmen first invaded a Customs officer’s house and seized his wife, Maryam Bala Ibrahim, with her three children but they abandoned the children on the way and fled with the mother.

The source added the bandits attacked another house in the neighbourhood where they abducted another woman, Hulera Haruna.

It was however gathered that the police and Kaduna Vigilance groups repelled the bandits from further attacks on the community.

It was learnt it was in the crossfire with the criminals that five Almajiris from the neighborhood were hit by stray bullets.

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Niger gov returns, meets parents of abducted Tegina schoolchildren

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Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has met with the parents of the 136 students of Salihu Tanko Islamiya School, Tegina, who were abducted last month.

The governor had travelled abroad after the abduction, while his deputy coordinated the rescue operation.

Upon his return to the country, Bello launched a special vigilante to deal with gangs causing crisis within the state and proceeded to Tegina to see the parents of the abducted children.

The governor met with the parents of the victims and other stakeholders at the palace of the Emir of Kagara, Ahmed Garba Gunna.

He sympathised with them and promised that the state government was determined to rescue the children.

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Kebbi shuts seven schools after FGC students, teachers abduction

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Seven schools considered unsafe in Kebbi State have been shut indefinitely after last Thursday’s abduction of students and teachers of Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri by bandits.

Chairman Kebbi chapter of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Isah Arzika, stated this.

According to him, the shut schools are in vulnerable areas of the state believed to be soft targets of bandits.

He said the move was a proactive measure to further prevent recurrence of the FGC, Birnin Yauri’s incident.

Arzika said the state government had directed all principals to close any school considered not safe.

“Police and vigilante groups have since been deployed for monitoring and protection of schools,” he said.

He said all the proactive measures involved all stakeholders critical to safety of school environment.

“This is because principals are teachers, all the Directors at the Board are also teachers. It is the decision that we all took that is affecting us,” he stated.

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Troops rescue more abducted Kebbi school victims

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  • Abductors contact parents

The Nigerian troops have rescued three more students and a teacher who were among dozens of people kidnapped from the Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State, last week.

This came as the abductors have contacted the parents and relations of the kidnapped people.

Members of Operation Hadarin Daji, with the support from the Air Force, rescued the four at Makuku in Kebbi, Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, said on Sunday.

That brings to 11 the total number of students and teachers rescued since the abduction last Thursday night.

The troops also killed one bandit and recovered nine motorcycles and four handsets from the fleeing kidnappers.

Although an unspecified number of teachers and students were abducted from the school, a total of three teachers and eight students have so far been rescued.

They were rescued on Friday and Saturday by the army, after a firefight with the kidnappers.

The army spokesman said additional troops had also been deployed to dominate the forest and deny the bandits freedom of action.

Meanwhile, Isah Arzika, Chairman of Kebbi State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Isah Arzika, has said the abductors of students have contacted the parents.

He said the kidnappers contacted the parents of the students and the family members of other abductees to inform them that their children were in their custody.

He said the bandits did not demand ransom.

He, however, added that the bandits had not made any contact again after the rescue mission by security agencies.

He said, “Since the security agencies have swung into action on the bandits, we have not made fresh contact with the parents and relatives of the students and teachers still in their captivity.

“When we made our first contact two days ago, precisely on Thursday, they did not demand any ransom. Instead, they told the parents and relatives that they only wanted to establish contact with them and inform them that their children are with them.

“As I am talking to you, two of our teachers have regained their freedom. Already, seven schools on the frontline in that area have been closed and more will be closed if we realise the situation is not safe for the teachers and students.

“There was communication from them, but none of them asked for a kobo. They only said they wanted to establish contact that the abductees are in their custody.

“It was yesterday (Friday) that the security agencies swung on them and since then, there was no contact again.”

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