Bandits Attack Varsity In Kogi, Abduct Students

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Bandits have attacked the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara, Okene in Kogi, and abducted a yet-to-be ascertained number of students.

Security sources told Channels Television on Friday that quite a handful of students were in the class to read in preparation for the first-semester examination scheduled for Monday, May 13.

The gunmen were said to have entered the classrooms on Thursday night and started shooting sporadically into the air while an unspecified number of students were whisked away.

‘We are on Top of the Situation’

Channels Television visited the campus and noticed the state Security Adviser Jerry Omadara alongside the Commandant of Army Records, Lokoja.

Omadara said the state government is monitoring the situation and will comment shortly.

“We are on top of the situation,” he said. “We are still assessing the situation, we will speak about it shortly.”

Nine Students Missing

While the number of persons abducted is unclear, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Femi Fanwo, said nine students of the school are missing.

“Immediately the report was received, the Kogi State Governor, His Excellency Alh. Ahmed Usman Ododo activated the security architecture to track the kidnappers and ensure the abducted students are rescued and the abductors apprehended,” he said in a statement.

“We wish to assure students, parents, and the entire people of Kogi State that the Government is on top of the situation and all the abducted students will be rescued alive. Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo has also directed that security agents be positioned around all tertiary institutions in the state,” the commissioner added.

“Hundreds of local hunters who understand the terrain, as well as the conventional security agents, are currently combing the area to ensure safe rescue of the abducted students who were kidnapped in the classrooms. So far, nine students have been reported missing.”

The school authorities are yet to comment on the matter as of the time of this report.

Abductors Target Schools

The Kogi varsity attack adds to the growing list of assaults on schools across the country.

Hundreds of students have been kidnapped from Nigerian schools since 2014 when Boko Haram terrorists seized over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok village, a small Christian-dominated community in Borno State.

In March, hundreds of students were kidnapped when motorcycle-riding gunmen invaded the remote Kuriga School in Kaduna State. They were later rescued in Zamfara state, an enclave notorious for kidnappings more than 200 kilometers (124 miles) away from their school.

While the abductions operated majorly in the North-Western and North-Eastern parts of the country at the onset, the gunmen have shifted attention to other parts of Nigeria, targeting villagers and kidnapping travellers for ransom.

Despite repeated assurances by the Federal Government and security agencies, the miscreants have continued to wreak havoc in several parts of the country.

The situation has led to the demand by many Nigerians and state governors for the creation of state police to nip insecurity in the bud.

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