…Three students of Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi kidnapped by gunmen
…Police exchange fire with bandits, arrest 5 in Zaria
…As bandits abduct 2 women, wound pupils, abandon children due to fire power of security agents
…Tension in Nasarawa over attacks, 50,000 desert ancestral homes
…Take refuge in three locations
…Niger gov cries out, says more than 50 villages deserted; over 3000 IDPs in Minna
…Buhari will deal with terrorists, criminal gangs, APC assures Nigerians
By Wole Mosadomi, Peter Duru, Omeiza Ajayi, David Odama & Ibrahim HassanWuyo
Two more students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, kidnapped over a week ago by bandits have been killed by their abductors who are insisting on payment of N800 million ransom.
Remains of three of the students, a male and two females, had earlier been found in a village close to the university.
Mr.Samuel Aruwan ,Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna State, who confirmed the killing of the two students yesterday, said the state government would update the citizenry on further developments.
“On a sad note, security agencies have just reported to Kaduna State government the recovery of two more dead bodies of Greenfield University students, killed by armed bandits today (yesterday) Monday, April 26, 2021.
“The retrieved corpses have been evacuated to a mortuary, and the university has been notified of the development. “
“The government of Kaduna State under the leadership of Malam Nasir El-Rufai is saddened by this evil perpetrated against innocent students abducted while pursuing their education for a glorious future. “
“The government sends its deep empathy to their families and the university management, and prays for the repose of their souls. The government will update the citizenry on further developments,” he said.
This now brings to five the number of students so far killed by the kidnappers, while demanding N800 million ransom from the parents.
Another 3 varsity students kidnapped in Benue
The killing of the students came as bandits again ran riot in some parts of the country yesterday, as they kidnapped three students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, FUAM, in Benue State.
The bandits also attacked Kofar Kuyambana low cost housing estate in Zaria, Kaduna State, but were stoutly resisted by a combined efforts of the police and vigilante after a fierce gun battle, after which five of them were arrested.
This is even as tension, fear and apprehension gripped residents of Nasarawa State, following incessant attacks on communities by bandits, which have forced an estimated 50,000 farmers to flee their ancestral homes.
They are now taking refuge in three locations, including Agyaragu, Kadarko and Daudu
Also yesterday, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State decried the incessant invasion of communities by bandits in the state, pointing out that no fewer than 50 villages had been sacked in five local government areas.
Vanguard gathered that the three students, whose identities are yet to be released by the institution at the time of this report, were abducted last Saturday night while studying near a lecture hall.
Confirming the development, the State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene, said the command had already received report of the incident.
She said: “Information has been received by the school authority that on April 24, 2021, at about 10:20pm some unknown persons came into the school premises and kidnapped three of their students who were studying close to a lecture theater.
“We received that information and we are on it. I know that we are very close and we will continue to do our best.
“For now this is what I have for the media but my advise is that the members of the public should remain calm. We are doing our best to make sure that we get to the root of the matter and also apprehend the perpetrators of the crime.
“I assure parents of the students that the police will do our best to get back their children. They should remain calm and cooperate with us, we will do our best.”
Asked if the kidnappers had made any demands, the PPPRO said: “That is a classified information. When the incident happened we received reports from the school authorities and we are working on it in our own way. We do not need to wait for people to be contacted before we do our job.
“As soon as we received the information we deployed our teams and they are working both technically and physically. So we will continue to do our best. We do not have to wait for contacts to be established before we do our work. For now we do not have identity of the affected students.’’
Also confirming the incident, Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Richard Kimbir, said the school was not sure of the number of students involved, assuring that the number of those involved would be ascertained at the end of an ongoing management meeting.
“We are holding a management meeting at the moment and at the end of the meeting we will confirm the number but for now we are sure of two because the kidnappers have made contacts with us,” he said.
Housing estate invaded in Zaria
In Kaduna, bandits who invade Kofar Kuyambana low cost housing estate in Zaria had it rough on Sunday night as the police, the vigilante and other security agents who engaged them in a fierce gun duel, arrested five of them.
Sadly, many of the bandits were able to escape through the nearby bush with two housewives and some children.
The incident, which happened around 9.30pm on Sunday, according to a local, caused many to have sleepless night as the gun battle resulted in pandemonium, even as some families in the housing estate scampered for safety .
It was learned that some Islamic pupils were caught in the cross fire but were quickly moved to a Zaria hospital where they are receiving medical attention.
According to the local, the gunmen came on motorbikes and targeted the house of a Customs officer in the housing estate.
“It was around 10pm; they were shooting and everybody was terrified. They forced the Customs officer’s wife and her children to follow them. They, however, left the children but abducted their mother,” he said.
The local said the bandits also attacked a neighboring house and took away another elderly woman.
“Police, other security agents and the vigilante performed wonderfully .They really tried as good fighters. We are grateful to Almighty Allah and we thank them immensely.
“They were able to arrest two bandits last night and three more yesterday morning,” the local said.
There was no official reaction on the latest attack, but the Kaduna Police Public Relations Officer confirmed the attack.
Fear, as residents desert 13 communities in Nasarawa
Similarly, fear and apprehension is mounting in Nasarawa State as incessant attacks by bandits continue to ravage communities, forcing over 50,000 farmers to flee their ancestral homes and take refuge elsewhere.
Residents and farmers in about 13 settlements have been displaced as a result of the attacks in some parts of the state.
The recent attacks are in Doma, Keana where scores had been allegedly massacred, with many others injured.
The deserted villages are Dooshima, Antsa, Dooka, Angwan Yara, Ikyayior, Targema, Tse Tor, Chia, Umurayi, Dooga, Gindan Rail, Ajikamaka and Ankoma all in Ekye development area, Doma South in Doma local government area of Nasarawa State.
They victims who were displaced by the rampaging herdsmen are currently taking refuge in Kardoroko in Keana LGA and Agyaragu, while others are taking refuge with relations, friends in Guma local government area of Benue State.
Speaking on the incident, President of Tiv Development Association, TIDA, Peter Ahemba, described the situation as pathetic, adding that the victims had been placed in very deep pains as a result of the crisis that hit the communities in Doma South three days ago
Addressing the displaced persons yesterday in Kardoroko and Agyaragu, Senior Special Assistant to Governor on conflict resolution, Moses Utondu, appealed to the displaced persons to remain calm, assuring that Governor Abdullahi Sule, would look into their problem.
“My assessment so far has shown that our people are truly displaced, it is not an issue of speculations, but my courage and comfort is that our governor is somebody who is committed to peace. We are here to see things for ourselves and we are going to report back to the governor and he will take prompt action,” he said.
‘We woke up to herdsmen’s attacks’
A victim of Ajikamaka village attack, Cletus Wanshima, told Vanguard in Kardoroko IDP camp that they woke up last Saturday to the attack on them by the herdsmen.
“They just laid ambush on our people and started killing them, so we had to run for our lives, they have taken over all our houses and are burning and looting our properties.
“They invaded our communities, matcheting people with cutlasses and gunning others down with their AK-47. They slaughtered a woman in Dooka village in my presence; they also slaughtered a man in Ikyayior village,” he said.
He lamented the terrible situation in the camp and called on the government of Nasarawa State to come to their aid.
He said: “We have been sleeping on bare floor since Saturday when we got here, we don’t have mattresses or mats, it is quite a difficult situation as we are exposed to mosquitoes and all kinds of insects and reptiles during the day and at night,” he said.
Killings inexcusable — Gov Sule
Meanwhile, Nasarawa State Governor Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule has described the brutal killing of Innocent people during the weekend attack on Ajimaka Village of Dome Local Government Area of the state as an act that is reprehensible, callous and inexcusable.
Governor Sule in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Ibrahim Adra, said: “The attack that does not spare women and children bears the trademark of devilish elements who are bent on truncating the relative peace in the state.”
Sule while assuring the people of the state of his determination to curb insecurity in the state said that security operatives have since commenced investigations that will expose the criminals with a view to punishing them according to the laws of the land.
“My condolences and prayers are with families of those whose lives were lost. I urge them and the rest of our citizens to be rest assured that this administration will do all within its power to ensure justice, peace and security across the state,” Governor Sule added. The governor also called for “calm and support for law enforcement agents in the collective fight against evil.”
50 villages deserted, Gov Bello cries out
In a similar development, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state has again cried out over the incessant invasion of communities in the state by bandits, pointing out that no fewer than 50 villages have been sacked in five local government areas of the State.
This, he said, was causing not only serious humanitarian but also financial crisis to the state.
Consequently, he called on all stakeholders in the twenty-five local government areas to brace up to generate more funds for the economic growth of their councils in particular and the state in general.
He said: “As we speak, we have not less than 50 villages deserted across five local governments now. Where do we get the resources to take care of them if 80% of our resources goes to those that do not add value to the system?
“Now we have to deal with humanitarian and security problems and all these require resources that we do not have, so the only way we can survive is to increase our IGR.
“At the moment, we have over 3,000 IDPs in Minna, apart from other local governments.”
Buhari’ll deal with criminals — APC
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has expressed the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to deal decisively with criminal elements.
National Secretary, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe made the promise in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday.
The party noted that the issue of insecurity in the country had found expression in terrorist and criminal activities of Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and recently the highly condemnable attacks on security formations in some states.
“These are current realities and the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not play politics with matters of life and our collective wellbeing as a nation.
“As a progressive party in government, we are fully-focused on identifying and bringing to book the perpetrators and sponsors of this hydra-headed insecurity monster and consolidating on our visible development strides. While the party sympathises with all affected by the security incidents, we call on all to unite against insecurity and criminality, however expressed,” the party stated.
The party added that it is only in safety that Nigerians can enjoy the current agriculture revolution which has seen the country achieve self-sufficiency in rice and other staple food items.
“Only in safety can we enjoy the current infrastructure revolution that has witnessed the rehabilitation, construction and reconstruction of over 13,000 kilometers of critical federal roads, construction of thousands of affordable and acceptable housing and ofcourse the ongoing national railway projects gainfully connecting cities and towns across the country.
“Again, we must not fall for the plot of sectarian opportunists and unpatriotic partisans who have swarmed the public space with divisive rhetoric in furtherance of their selfish plot to exploit the security situation for hideous gains. It is dangerous to national security and we should not let them succeed. The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is criminalising crime, not ethnicity. The president’s charge to the newly-appointed service chiefs was clear: “We are in a state of emergency. Be patriotic, serve the country well, as your loyalty is to the country.”
“Our security services deserve our continued support and cooperation as they undertake their constitutional duty to safeguard citizen’s life, property and our territorial integrity. In our private and public spaces, we have a duty to be vigilant and volunteer information on strange and suspicious activities around us. The President Buhari government will continue and strategically deploy all state resources in achieving public safety.
“We must shun the antics and activities of unpatriotic and sectarian opportunists fanning divisive embers, promote peaceful coexistence, eschew bitterness and unite against insecurity and crime, for the development of the country.
“From the Ogbomosho taxi driver who was born and lives his productive life in Kaduna State; the Igbo trader who is the Chairman of the Ladipo spare parts market association in Lagos state to the Kano-born Hausa businessman investing and building sugar, cement, petrochemical plants around the country and employing thousands.
“Despite our natural differences in culture, religion and ethicities, we are more patriotic, alike and united than bigots, sectarian opportunists and unpatriotic partisans try to make us believe. We have a collective stake in our country’s security and ensuring that Nigeria works for all,” APC stated.