Bandits kidnap 15 students, woman in Sokoto

Spread the love

 

Bandits kidnapped an unspecified number of Tsangaya students at Gidan Bakuso in Gada Local Government Area of Sokoto State in the wee hours Saturday.

Advertisements

The students were kidnapped from their school around 1am according to Daily Trust.

This was barely two days after bandits abducted 285 students and a principal, Abubakar Isah, from the LEA Primary and Junior Secondary School, Kuriga, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Advertisements

The Sokoto incident happened hours before the graduation ceremony of the state’s Community Guard Corps created to fight banditry.

The proprietor of the Tsangaya school in Gidan Bakuso, Liman Abubakar, told our correspondent that 15 students were “unaccounted so far, but we are still searching for more.”

He said the bandits invaded the community around 1am, shot one person and abducted a woman.

The proprietor disclosed further that: “As they were leaving the town, they sighted our students rushing into their rooms and they kidnapped many of them.

“We have so far counted 15 who are missing and we are still searching for more”, he said.

Abubakar said that this was not the first time the village was attacked by bandits.

The Special Adviser to Governor Ahmed Aliyu on Security, Colonel Ahmed Usman (rtd), said the news of the abduction was received during the graduation ceremony of the Sokoto State Community Guard Corps.

“I told my governor about it and we quickly notified heads of security operatives”, he said.

He said “a fighter jet has been mobilised to the area. We’re also mobilizing ground troops to the area. We will, in-sha-Allah, rescue all the abductees safely.”

The member representing Gada-East Constituency at the state House of Assembly, Kabiru Dauda, also confirmed the attack.

He said he received a call from the village around 2am that there was an invasion by bandits.

“I reached out to the local government authorities and security agencies and I am sure they are doing something about it,” the lawmaker said.

It was also gathered that bandits attacked and killed three persons, including the village head, at Turba village in Isa Local Government Area of the state.

A member representing Isa Constituency, Habibu Modachi, who confirmed this, said it was a reprisal after security operatives raided bandits’ hideouts two days earlier.

The spokesman of the Sokoto State Police Command, Ahmad Rufa’i, also confirmed the attack, saying 15 students and one woman were abducted from the village.

“The Commissioner of Police has mobilized the Divisional Police Officer in the area and a tactical operation team led by the Deputy Commissioner in charge of operation to the area,” he said.

The federal government yesterday condemned last week’s abduction of internally displaced persons at Wurge in Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State by ISWAP terrorists as well that of school-age children at Government Secondary School, Kuriga in Gwagwada District, Chikun LGA, Kaduna State, by bandits.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, in a statement, said the abductions were utterly unacceptable and against all the fundamental values of humanity.

“The government stands resolutely against any form of violence or coercion targeted at innocent civilians, especially the most vulnerable among us. Our children deserve to seek education in conditions devoid of harm or threat of harm, and any threat to their security is a direct attack on the future of our country,” he said.

He said while extending heartfelt sympathies to the families and communities affected by the incidents, President Bola Tinubu had directed security agencies “to swiftly ensure the safe return of all abducted persons and the arrest of the perpetrators.”

Idris said the government would spare no effort in its pursuit of justice for the victims, and in its determination to hold the abductors accountable “to the full extent of the law.”

The minister urged the public to “remain calm but vigilant, and to provide any relevant information that may assist the security agencies. Collective action and solidarity are essential if we are to effectively combat the menace of banditry, insurgency and insecurity in our country.

“Furthermore, the government reaffirms its unwavering commitment to protecting the lives and property of citizens, and will continue to work very hard to ensure that the capacity of criminals to launch these attacks is constantly and irreversibly degraded,” he added.

The chairman of the North-West Governors’ Forum and governor of Katsina State, Dikko Radda, yesterday said the forum would do everything possible to bring peace back to the North.

He spoke in Sokoto during the graduation ceremony of the Sokoto State Community Guard Corps.

The event was attended by the governors of Kebbi, Plateau, Zamfara, Kano, Benue and Bauchi states, as well as the deputy governor of Jigawa State.

“We (Northwestern governors are committed to organising ourselves to achieve this common goals.

“After our inauguration, we met and resolved to address these three issues: security, agricultural and economic development in the region. And the whole North is ready to collectively address our common problems,” Radda said.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, urged the guards not to be afraid of bandits.

“Don’t be afraid of the enemies because the enemies are afraid of you,” he stated.

He commended the northern governors for their resolve to address the challenges in the region.

Bauchi State governor, Bala Muhammed urged the federal government to provide the states with the support needed to tackle their security challenges.

He said the federal government must not play politics with security.

Governors Caleb Mutfwang and Hyacinth Ali of Plateau and Benue states respectively stressed the need for the North to unite and defeat “retrogressive elements” in the region.

A former National Security Adviser, General Aliyu Gusau (rtd), said the event signified the continued efforts to eliminate the insecurity in the region.

He said for all security outfits to achieve success, there must be synergy and implicit trust among them.

He urged the conventional security agencies to create desks for representatives from the Community Guards Corps in their structures for quick and effective sharing of intelligence.

“Our country faces daunting security challenges today. These range from terrorism in the northeast to banditry in the northwest, farmer-herder conflicts in the north-central and southwest, secessionist tendencies in the south-east, large scale crude oil theft in the south-south and robbery and kidnapping for ransom in every part of the country.

“I’ll therefore commend our governors for their efforts to address these security challenges. Accordingly, today’s event is both important and imperative,” he said.

Gusau called for sufficient funding to sustain the initiative.

Sokoto State governor, Ahmed Aliyu, said the initiative was part of his promise to tackle the insecurity in parts of the state.

Former governors of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa and Senator Aliyu Wamakko commended the initiative, expressing belief that it would curtail security challenges in the state.

The training consultant, General Junaidu Bindawa, said the 2,596 guards, who graduated, were trained in many aspects of security.

He advised the governors to deploy technologies in tackling the insecurity in their respective states.

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday demanded immediate deployment of new measures including the much-discussed Special Schools Security Scheme, the Schools Vigilante Force, Anti-Kidnapping Squads and others across terror-prone states.

ACF National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Tukur Muhammad-Baba, made this known in a statement issued to react to the abduction of the Kaduna State’s students.

He urged the federal government to go beyond perfunctory directives to the security forces to rescue the abducted students and insist on results within specific time frames.

He said the ACF was “gravely saddened and exasperated at the news of the abduction by terrorists/bandits of about 312 students”.

“As a sad reminder about their unabated presence, the terrorists struck again, attacked worshippers, and killed two persons during Friday prayers at Anguwar Makera, Kwasakwasa Community in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area, Kaduna State.

“Together, the incidents looked planned in advance, a most discomfiting reality, given the enormous public resources being allocated to the security sector. As ACF had observed in July, 2023, when students of the Federal University Gusau were abducted (and sadly still in captivity), these disturbing incidents point to the very perilous state of security in the country, and specifically that around school children, a defensively vulnerable population.

“ACF unequivocally decries and condemns the incidents in strong terms and hereby calls for the immediate and unconditional return of the abducted students and pupils, unharmed, to their parents/guardians…”

He said the ACF commended “the fast response” of the Kaduna State Government through a confidence and reassurance-building visit to the community by its officials led by Governor Uba Sani.

Muhammad-Baba said the Forum called on the security forces to adopt more effective strategies to end terrorism “in our communities.”

“Clearly, a regional multi-pronged strategy against the terrorists operating in all contagious states, is called for. In these regards, the security forces should never dither or stay on the course of plain ineptitude and ineffectiveness that characterise the current strategy to contain and stamp out terrorism throughout the country,” he added.

 

 

Advertisements