Outrage as Bandits Hold 21 Zamfara Female Students Hostage.
President Bola Tinubu expressed his deep concern and frustration on Sunday over the abduction of 30 students from the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, by armed bandits in the early hours of Friday. As of Sunday, 21 of these students remained in captivity, while seven had been rescued and two managed to escape.
The Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Mani Mummuni, visited the university to offer condolences to the affected families and school authorities. He called upon security agencies to expedite efforts to secure the release of the kidnapped students.
In a press statement, Yazid Abubakar, spokesperson for the Zamfara State Police Command, assured the public that every effort would be made to rescue all the kidnapped students. The command had deployed an additional tactical team for search-and-rescue operations.
The horrifying incident occurred on September 22, 2023, around 2:50 am when suspected bandits, riding on approximately 50 motorcycles and armed with sophisticated weapons, invaded three students’ rented apartments in Sabon Gida Village near the Federal University Gusau. They kidnapped an unspecified number of students and transported them to an undisclosed location.
President Tinubu, in a statement released on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, directed security agencies to prioritize the rescue of the abducted students. He emphasized that there could be no moral justification for such heinous crimes against innocent students pursuing their education.
Tinubu assured the families of the kidnapped students that no effort would be spared to ensure their safe return and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to safeguarding educational institutions from the menace of terrorists.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) also condemned the abduction, describing it as “one abduction too many” with grave implications for girl-child education in the region. The ACF urged the Federal Government to urgently revamp the nation’s security architecture to address insecurity and related threats comprehensively.
Amnesty International called for an investigation into security lapses enabling abductions in Zamfara State and highlighted the right to education, emphasizing that schools should be places of safety.
The Coalition of Northern Groups Students’ Wing demanded the immediate establishment of a mini-military barracks at the Federal University Gusau in Zamfara State, along with increased security measures and infrastructure to protect the university and its host community.
Zamfara State has been plagued by insecurity in recent years, with notable incidents such as the abduction of 279 female students from Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe, in February 2021. The latest abduction has sparked outrage and calls for immediate action to ensure the safe return of the students and enhance security in the region.