Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Rescued Kaduna University Student Narrates How Bandits Operated In School, Kidnapped Colleagues

 The assailants also kidnapped a yet-to-be ascertained number of students, said to be mainly females, it was learnt.


Greenfield University

According to a report by SaharaReporters, bandits who attacked Greenfield University along the Kaduna-Abuja Highway in Kaduna State on Tuesday night, killed a porter of the institution, identified as Paul Okafor.

The assailants also kidnapped a yet-to-be ascertained number of students, said to be mainly females, it was learnt.

The bandits stormed the school located on kilometre 34 along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway in the Chikun local government area of Kaduna State around 8:30pm with sophisticated weapons.

They reportedly fired their guns indiscriminately, killing Okafor, the porter in charge of the male hostel, in the process.

They went away with at least 17 students, it was learnt.

One of the rescued students, who spoke to Leadership on condition of anonymity at the Operation Thunder Strike (OPTS) camp where other rescued students were being kept, said the matron in charge of the female hostel was among those abducted alongside students, who were mainly female students.

According to the student, the bandits gained entrance into the school through more than one access point because of the porous nature of the institution.

The student said the bandits also broke some doors in the process.

“The bandits are young boys between the ages of 17 and 20 years but were very armed. They came in shooting sporadically into the air. The bullets hit some of the students, inflicting injuries on them, killed our porter and went away with some of our colleagues but I don’t know the specific number but I know they are mostly girls along with the matron.

“The porter was shot when he was trying to close the door against the bandits to protect us,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Registrar of the University, Bashir Muhammad, who was at the Operation Thunder Strike camp, where the rescued students were being kept before they would be released to their parents, refused to speak on the incident, saying he had been directed not to say anything.

He, however, assured that the management of the school would speak on the matter on or before Friday when more details might have come out.

The newspaper learnt that the bandits had called some of the parents of kidnapped students, demanding ransom in millions of naira, which the school registrar neither denied nor confirmed.

Some of the parents of the abducted students, who were also at the military camp, were too traumatised to speak but were seen in groups discussing possible ways out in hushed tones.

Earlier, confirming the attack, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, in a statement said, “Last night, the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs received distress calls of an attack by armed bandits on the Greenfield University, situated at Kasarami, off the Kaduna-Abuja Road in Chikun LGA.

“Troops of Operation Thunder Strike (OPTS) and other operatives swiftly moved to the location and the bandits retreated.

“After search-and-rescue operations, a staff member of the university, Paul Ude Okafor, was confirmed to have been killed by the bandits, while a number of students were kidnapped.

“The security operatives took custody of the remaining students who have been handed over to the institution, as at noon today, Wednesday 21st April 2021.

“The actual number of students kidnapped is still being sought from the institution’s records.”

Kaduna has been a target for kidnappers in recent times.

On March 11, some bandits attacked the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka in the Igabi Local Government Area of the state, kidnapping 39 students.

Ten of the students have been released while the fate of the others still hangs in the balance.

The state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has vowed not to negotiate or pay ransom to kidnappers, and also threatened that anyone who negotiates with the bandits on behalf of the government will be arrested and prosecuted.

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