Four as yet unidentified students from the Federal University of Lafia in Nasarawa State, North Central Nigeria were reportedly abducted from a community near the university.
This comes just 24 hours after Plateau State Police claimed to have rescued some students from the state-owned polytechnic located in the Barkin Ladi community, who were abducted by kidnappers on Wednesday night.
Wednesday’s incident occurred the same day when President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Plateau State University Chapter, Hassan Zitta, and a former aspirant to the governorship of the State, Nicholas Nshe, were released by their captors after spending 11 days in their custody.
A report by the Daily Trust newspaper quoted the university’s public relations officer, Abubakar Ibrahim, as confirming the incident. He said the gunmen stormed the student community around 11:30 p.m. Thursday and took the students away.
The report quotes Mr. Ibrahim saying this; bed; “The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Shehu Abdul Rahman, on behalf of the leadership of the institution, expressed his deep outrage at this unfortunate development and condemned it in strong terms, and demanded the release immediately of the kidnapped persons”.
The spokesperson said the Vice Chancellor noted that the kidnapping of students poses one of the most serious threats to education in the state in particular and in Nigeria as a whole.
He said that as well as expressing “his deepest sympathy” to the families of the abducted students, the Vice-Chancellor assured them and their colleagues that no effort would be spared to ensure their speedy rescue.
“The Vice Chancellor, who has since traveled to the area where the students were abducted, visited Nasarawa Police Command where he formally informed the Commissioner of Police of the abduction of the students,” adds the report.
He said Rahman urged the students to pay more attention to security-related issues and called on them to remain calm and go about their normal activities.
He hinted that new measures have been put in place to ensure adequate safety of lives and property inside and outside the institution.
North-West to North-Central
Over the past two months, attention has shifted to the northwestern states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Sokoto, which are becoming hotbeds of violent attacks by those described as bandits.
Thursday only, Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, said insecurity in the northwestern states has become an existential threat, following relentless attacks on individuals and public institutions by bandits, resulting in the loss of many lives.
Many students have been abducted in these states, resulting in an increasing number of out-of-school children in these states.
But with the recent abductions and attempted abductions of students in Plateau and now Nasarawa States, there are fears that the horrific development of mass student abductions is escalating in the north-central geopolitical zone of the country.
The area includes Kwara, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, the Federal Capital Territory, among others.
At the time of filing this report, efforts to reach the Nasarawa State Police Command have yielded no positive results.
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