On Tuesday, bandits released 90 students and staff of Federal Government College (FGC), Birnin Yauri, in North West Kebbi State after four months in captivity.
This comes barely 24 hours after bandits attacked St. Albert the Great Institute of Philosophy and abducted three students on Monday night. Confirming the attack, the Kaduna State Police Command in North West Nigeria said that the gunmen invaded the Saint Albert Seminary Catholic School in Fadan Kagoma, Kafanchan, on Monday night.
The gunmen shot in the air before forcing their way into the campus. An audio message that was sent by one of the students who escaped the abduction said that the Seminary students had just concluded their evening prayers in a Church when the gunmen stormed the premises.
Reports also indicated that some students had left for their rooms while others were in the dining hall taking their dinner when they heard the gunshots.
While confirming the news of the abduction, the Kaduna State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab, said that “The students were scared after the shooting and ran towards different directions. The bandits managed to kidnap five students, but released two of their abductees when vigilantes and other people started running after them.”
Rev Hayab added that the latest kidnapping showed the government had bungled the security of the region. He said that the government had “Closed down schools, shut down network on communication, and banned commercial motorcycles, all these have not worked.”
However, the government seemed to have its side of the story, as narrated by Mr Salleh Banda, Secretary of Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“The bandits gained entrance to the school chapel around 8:45 pm on Monday, around the time when students went for their evening prayers. They hoped to kidnap many students, but that did not come to pass as most students had retired to their rooms. The police guarding the school heard the bandits and shot in the air. It is during the commotion that four students who had been kidnapped managed to escape,” Mr Banda said.
The Kaduna State police spokesman, Mr Mohammed Jalige said investigations into the kidnapping were ongoing.
In North West Zamfara State, the epicentre of banditry, the House of Assembly has suspended Yusuf Muhammad and Ibrahim Tukur for allegedly aiding banditry.
The suspension which took place on Tuesday followed a motion adopted at the plenary in which the lawmakers urged the house to suspend their colleagues over allegations that they were collaborating with bandits in the state.
“One of them is suspected to have supplied information to bandits leading to the death of one of our lawmakers, Muhammad Ahmad, representing Shinkafi Constituency, who was killed on his way to Kano few months ago.
“The other was seen rejoicing after the kidnapping of our Speaker’s father, who died in captivity,” the House said.
The Majority Leader, Mr Faruku Dosara, said that the allegations must be treated seriously and called for a thorough investigation by the House.