…Niger govt releases names of abducted students, teachers
…How my daughter, seven others in her house were abducted by bandits—Mother of abducted teacher …We took information about attack as rumour — Resident
…IGP deploys 4 additional rescue assets to Niger State
…Says ‘we are committed to the safe rescue of all abductees
By Kingsley Omonobi & Wole Mosadomi
Twenty-four hours after the killing of one student and abduction of 42 others at Government Science College, Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State by bandits on Wednesday, one person was again killed yesterday by the bandits who also kidnapped 10 others after invading communities in Shiroro LGA.
It will be recalled that the bandits in the Wednesday attack, abducted 27 students, three teachers and 12 members of a particular teacher’s family, aside from the student killed in the attack.
The new onslaught came as Niger State government yesterday released the names of students, teachers and their families kidnapped in the Kagara attack.
Meanwhile, mother of one of the teachers kidnapped by the bandits in the Kagara abduction yesterday narrated her ordeal.
A source told Vanguard yesterday that the latest attack on Sarkin Zama, Bakin Kogi (Lagbe), Siyiko, Kokki and other adjoining villages, all in Gurmana ward of Shiroro LGA, occurred in the early hours.
Two persons were also said to have sustained injuries, as the bandits shot sporadically, prompting residents to flee into the bush.
Co-convener of Concerned Shiroro Youths, a pressure group, Sani Kokki, who confirmed the attack, said the bandits stormed the villages in large numbers, heavily armed.
He said the attack which lasted for hours, claimed at least one life, while two persons were injured.
“Countless deadly attacks have become daily occurrences, thereby compelling the affected victims to live at the mercy of hydra-headed monsters. Defenceless, unarmed, and peaceful locals have been abandoned to their fate,” Kokki added.
One person was said to have been shot in the eye, while the other was shot around the armpit.
Kokki said those who sustained injuries were rushed to Kuta General Hospital for treatment.
Niger govt releases names of abducted persons
The Niger State government yesterday released the names of those abducted by bandits during the attack on Kagara school.
Releasing the names yesterday, the government identified the dead student as Benjamin Habila, while the 27 others abducted included Jamilu Isah; Shem Joshua; Abbas Abdullahi; Isah Abdullahi; Ezekiel Danladi; Haliru Shuaibu; Mamuda Suleman; Danzakar Dauda; Abdulsamad Sanusi; Bashir Abbas; Suleman Lawal; and Abdullahi Adamu.
READ ALSO: Buhari, Bello meet over Kagara school kidnap
Others are Habakuk Augustine; Idris Mohammed; Musa Adamu; Abdulkarim Abdulrahman; Abubakar Danjumma; Abdullahi Abubakar; Bashir Kamalideen; Mohammed Salisu; Yusuf M Kabir; and Isah Abdullah Makusidi.
Also on the list were Polineous Vicente; Lawal Bello; Mohammed K Shehu; Mubarak Sidi; and Abdulsamad Nuhu.
The names of the abducted teachers include Hannatu Philip; Lawal Abdullahi; Dodo Fodio; Mohammed Musa; and Faiza Mohammed
How my daughter, others were abducted — Mother
Meanwhile, Hajiya Kamis Ahmed, mother of one of the kidnapped teachers, who said she received news of the abduction with shock, recounted her ordeal yesterday: “I was told that my daughter is among the kidnapped people when I received a phone call at about 5am on Wednesday.
“Immediately after my prayers, I moved to the college to confirm it, only to realise that she and her four children and other three co-workers living with her were among those taken away.
“One of those taken away from my daughter’s house, Malam Dodo, has just been posted to the school from another school.”
She said her daughter’s husband managed to escape from the bandits when they were taking the students out of their hostel.
‘We didn’t take rumours of attack serious’
A resident of the area, who is a teacher at Salihu Tanko Secondary School, said they had information that the bandits were planning to attack the school but didn’t take the information seriously.
He said: “We had been hearing that bandits were planning to invade the school but we took it as a rumour until the reality came on Wednesday.
“From all indications, the school is not secure because there is no fence to secure the students and staff. We only hope that government will do something immediately to fortify the security of the school and the entire area.
“The local government is being deserted because the bandits are seriously disturbing us almost on daily basis.
“We don’t have a functional hospital because most staff here are work for a few hours due to the insecurity in the area.
“The only existing commercial bank in the town was invaded some months ago and it has closed down. Now that Government Science College has been attacked, we don’t know the next target,” the resident said.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has paid a visit to college for an-on-the-spot assessment of the school.
He also visited the family of the student killed by the bandit, and assured families of those abducted of the safe return of their loved ones.
“Our priority right away is to get the kidnapped students and 15 others as well as those abducted from the bus of the State Transport Authority last Sunday back to their respective families unarmed,” he remarked.
I’m open to any form of negotiations — Niger gov
Bello said he was open to any form of negotiations, including giving a new lease of life to the bandits who chose to abandon their criminal tendencies and embrace positive and humanistic lifestyle rather than pay millions of money to them.
He insisted that paying them ransom only helps strengthen their business of criminality, acquire weapons to continue to terrorise innocent people.
He directed that the school be secured, while rehabilitation work should commence to renew dilapidated structures therein.
IGP Adamu reassures
Also yesterday, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, assured the nation that the Force was irrevocably committed to the safe rescue of all abductees in the recent attack on Government Science College, Kagara,
He disclosed that a joint massive search and rescue mission involving the Police, military and other law enforcement agencies was ongoing to ensure that all abducted persons were rescued unhurt and reunited with their families.
A statement signed by CP Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer, said: “To give impetus to the rescue operation, the IGP has ordered the deployment of additional tactical, intelligence and investigative assets of the Force, including four units of Police Mobile Force attached to Operation Puff Adder II, and one unit of Police Special Forces.
“Others are personnel of the Counter-Terrorism Unit, CTU, and operatives from the Force Intelligence Bureau and the Force Criminal Investigations Department. One Police aerial surveillance helicopter has also been deployed.
“The Police component of the search and rescue operation is being coordinated by the Commissioner of Police, Niger State, who is effectively harnessing all the deployed resources and working in sync with the military and other law enforcement agents in ensuring an intelligence-driven, focused and result-oriented ground and aerial surveillance in the rescue operations and to bring the perpetrators to book.
“The Inspector General of Police, while calling for calm, has enjoined members of the community to provide the Force and the security community with useful, relevant and timely information that can assist in the ongoing search and rescue operations.”
Niger Police CP flags off special troops
Flagging off the special troops in Minna, Niger State capital yesterday, the state Commissioner of Police, Adamu Usman, said the special security troops will reinforce the ongoing fight against banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the state.
Adamu assured that the abducted victims will be rescued very soon, especially with the fortified team.
He said: “We had problems with inadequate personnel in the past but with this development, we will deploy them to all the red flash points, including Munya, Shiroro, Mariga and the Lapai-Agaie axis and also work hand in hand with the Vigilante,” he assured.
Speaking on the abducted students and other victims, Adamu said that all abducted persons were still with the bandits but noted that security agencies were working tirelessly to bring them back.
“The abducted victims are still there but we are trying to reinforce and with the deployment of these special troops, we will rescue the victims.
“Everything is being properly handled. We have deployed troops to where they are, we know what is happening and we are monitoring them.
“We have a lot of personnel in the area, both land and air. This reinforcement will also assist and go a long way in ensuring that we rescue the victims soonest and safely,” the police commissioner said.