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Bandits abduct, threaten to betroth five Zamfara college girls

By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
14 April 2022   |   2:53 am
Bandits, yesterday, invaded a residential area in Tsafe town and abducted five students of the College of Health Science and Technology, Tsafe, Zamfara State

Plateau attacks displaced over 4,800 persons, says minister
• Obi flays killings, blames FG
• HURIWA backs Ortom’s call for self-defence in Middle Belt

Bandits, yesterday, invaded a residential area in Tsafe town and abducted five students of the College of Health Science and Technology, Tsafe, Zamfara State. But one of the girls escaped from the abductors. 

Provost of the college, Yusuf Idris, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the escaped student sustained injuries and was receiving medical attention at Tsafe General Hospital.

According to Idris, the abductors have contacted one of the victims’ mothers, threatening to marry her if the ransom is not paid. He appealed to the parents of the victims to remain calm, as the school authority and security agencies were working round the clock to ensure the safe return of the students.

A local source said the heavily armed men abducted students in their residence outside the school. He added that the bandits could not gain entrance into the school due to the presence of security personnel.

The police in Zamfara have confirmed the abduction. Spokesperson of the command, Mohammed Shehu, said troops had been deployed to trail the bandits.

MINISTER of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, has revealed that the attacks on five communities in Plateau State by armed bandits, on Sunday, displaced over 4,800 women and children.

The minister stated, yesterday, in Abuja that the development was reported to the ministry by the Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), North Central Zonal Office, Jos, Eugene Nyelong, after profiling and assessment of victims.

Armed bandits attacked Kyaram, Gyambau, Dungur, Kukawa and Shuwaka villages, under Garga District of Kanam Local Council, leaving about 100 people dead.

While noting that the assessment, which commenced on Tuesday, April 12, Farouq revealed loss of lives and property, she described the attack as satanic.

Her words: “Nyelong, who led the team, confirmed that profiling and assessment of victims have begun. The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are said to be over 4,800 comprising mostly women and children.”

She said that NEMA under the ministry, supported by State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Joint Task Force (JTF), community leaders, local council members and the media were already in Plateau for on-the-spot assessment to ascertain the level of destruction and advice the agency appropriately.

She directed the immediate deployment of relief materials to the displaced victims, who are seeking refuge in Garga Central Primary School, Kanam.

PRESIDENTIAL aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, has deplored the attacks as horrific and unacceptable.

Reacting to the tragedy in a statement, yesterday, Obi called for proactive security measures, especially in the rural areas.

“The reported killing of over 100 persons in Plateau and over 20 in Benue is horrific and totally unacceptable. Such violence questions the government’s responsibility to protect life and property.

“As a nation, we cannot be insensitive to the ongoing bloodletting and targeting of the most vulnerable in our society. Security measures must be proactive and holistic; more so, in areas close to ungoverned rural and urban communities. Nigeria must cease being a killing field,” said the former governor of Anambra State.
ALSO, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, condemned the killings in Plateau and Benue, describing them as unbecoming.

The civil rights advocacy group expressed dismay that President Muhammadu Buhari could only issue statements and not back the rhetoric up with actionable legal sanctions strong enough to deter the killers.

National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, also backed the call by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue for people of the Middle Belt to carry weapons and defend themselves against rampaging marauders who have no respect for human lives.