Armed bandits abduct 42 persons including 27 students, 3 staff at school in Niger State

Hostel from which the students were abducted. Photograph from Linda Ikeji blog

42 persons including 27 students, 3 staff have been abducted from the Government Science College in Kagara, Niger state. It was reported that the bandits stormed the school at about 2 a.m. this morning.

The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, disclosed to journalists today that one student, called Benjamin Doma, was killed in the raid.

The Governor has ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the security local government areas of the state to forestall any other occurrence. The local government areas include Rafi, Mariga, Munya, and Shiroro local government areas of the state. He said that the boarding schools in the areas will remain closed until security improves in the areas.

The Governor however ruled out payment of a ransom to the bandits, saying “Government will not pay ransom to secure the release of those abducted. It is not in the policy of the government to pay a ransom as the bandits use the money to buy sophisticated weapons and cause more harm.

“We have noticed that the bandits use such money to buy arms and ammunition to further empower themselves. However, the government will do all within its power to see to the release of those kidnapped and we will also be ready to support and assist repentant bandits,” the Governor added.

“We are deeply concerned at this recent sad event and are asking the Federal Government to deploy every necessary resource while we will look at all options, both kinetic and non-kinetic to ensure the safe return of the victims of both incidences as we will not rest or sleep until we bring them back to their families,” Bello assured. 

According to him, “Tension is high and the situation is very serious. We are saddened by all these development. We have been having attacks before and we have been working to settle it but in these past few days, the attacks have been so daring that they caught more of our attention. We pray that God will show us the way of getting them back safely.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the abduction of the school children.

"The President has directed the Armed Forces and Police, to ensure immediate and safe return of all the captives," Buhari's spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, the Minister of Police have stormed Niger state for a rescue mission of the abducted students of the Government Science College Kagara.

Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi has stated that the government will adopt the same tactics it used to rescue the Kankara schoolboys to rescue the 27 students abducted from the Government Science College in Kagara, Niger state today February 17.

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