Gunmen in northern Nigeria have carried out yet another abduction, this time targeting five students. This incident follows a recent wave of kidnappings in the neighboring region, where over 20 individuals were also taken captive. Law enforcement agencies are currently engaged in a comprehensive operation to locate and rescue the kidnapped female students.
Late on Wednesday, Aliyu Abubakar Sadiq, a police spokesperson in Katsina state, confirmed the abduction of five students from a federal university. This incident took place at approximately 2:00 am and is suspected to have been carried out by terrorists. One individual has been apprehended in connection with the crime.
Less than two weeks ago, criminal “bandit” gangs raided a university near Gusau, the capital of Zamfara state. During the attack, more than 30 people were abducted, including 24 female students. Nigerian troops have successfully rescued 16 of the hostages, including 13 students.
This mass kidnapping at a college is the first of its kind since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumed office in May. The president had pledged to address the prevalent security challenges in Nigeria, which have involved the recurrent targeting of schools by kidnap-for-ransom groups. Both Zamfara and Katsina states are known for the presence of bandit gangs, who engage in acts of violence such as raiding villages, abducting and killing residents, and causing destruction through arson and looting.
The criminal groups have gained infamy for their frequent abductions of students from various educational institutions in recent years. In February 2021, a girl’s boarding school in Zamfara State was raided, resulting in the kidnapping of over 300 students. Following a ransom payment by the authorities, the girls were eventually released several days later