… Attack private varsity in Kaduna, kill 1; abduct many students
… Break into a military camp in Niger, set vehicles ablaze
… Burn police station in Adani, Enugu State, kill 2 officers; abduct 3 in Ondo
… As minister raises alarm, says bandits can access 62,000 porous schools nationwide
ACTIVITIES of armed bandits heightened yesterday as the daredevil men operated freely in various parts of the country killing, maiming, abducting male and female citizens while setting properties ablaze. The recent attacks took place in Enugu where a police station was attacked and two officers killed, Kaduna where they invaded a private university, abduct many students, Niger state where they broke into a military base, set vehicles ablaze and Ondo state where three construction workers were abducted.
In Enugu, the bandit said to be wielding sophisticated weapons attacked Adani Police Division in Uzo Uwani local government area of the state at about 2:30 am yesterday, killed some officers and burnt down the station The attack was confirmed by the Nsukka Police Commander, Hassan Yahaya who was quoted to have said: “yes, there was an attack on Adani Police Division in the early hours of Wednesday.” “I am there now to see things for myself, the access level of destruction and ascertain casualties”, he said. “We started hearing sporadic gunshots around 2.am on Wednesday morning which created fear and panic in the area.
“We don’t know who the gunmen were because the incident happened in the night. “It is daybreak that we discovered that the attack is on Adani Police Division, two policemen were killed and some others injured as well as the station burnt”, a source was quoted to have said. While in Kaduna, some gunmen were said to have attacked a private university, Green Field University during which they abducted an unknown number of students and killed one. The daredevil bandits were also said to have opened fire to scare residents before abducting the students from the premises of the university located along KadunaAbuka highway in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
Although it is not immediately clear the number of students abducted, a security guard was shot in the process which was confirmed by the state Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan. “Confirmed but we will issue a statement after receiving feedback from security agencies”, Aruwan was quoted to have said via text message. In Niger state, bandits said to be numbering about 60 and heavily armed were said to have in early hours of Wednesday invaded a military camp in Zazzaga community in Munya Local Government Area of the state and engaged the soldiers in a gun battle leading to heavy casualties on the side of the bandits.
The attack came barely three weeks after bandits in their numbers attacked a Security Joint Task Force base in Allawa and Basa in Shiroro Local Government of the state killing five soldiers and a Mobile Policeman. However, no soldier was killed in this latest attack except one identified as the RSM of the camp who was declared missing; his whereabouts are still unknown as of the time of filing this report. According to a reliable source close to the Zagzaga community, the bandits stormed the community at about 4.00 am and shared themselves into three groups.
While one group made their way straight to the military camp located at the Junior Secondary School about 500 meters from the town where they engaged the soldiers in a gun battle, the second group laid ambush on the major road leading to the community. The third group were said to have made their way to the community to prevent any reinforcements from the community vigilantes and the youths.
A source claimed that after two hours of gun exchange from 4.00 am to 6.00 am, the soldiers ran out of ammunition and made a retreat but not until they (soldiers) inflated heavy casualties on the bandits. After the soldiers made a retreat, the bandits stormed the camp, set the military vehicles on fire and went away with another. The bandits also burnt the food store in the camp. In Ondo state, three construction workers were reported to have been kidnapped along IkaramuAkunnu Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government Area of the state by some unknown gunmen. It was gathered that the construction workers, whose identities have not been revealed at the time of filing this report, were working at the ongoing rehabilitation of Ikaramu-Akunnu road when the hoodlums struck and whisked them to an unknown destination.
The incident was said to have caused panic among the residents of the agrarian communities. When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed the incident, saying an investigation had commenced into it. In a related development, Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed has raised alarm saying that about 62,000 schools across the country can easily be accessed by “external” forces. The Minister who spoke at a programme tagged “Financial Safe Schools: Creating Safe Learning Communities” said the government will come up with a national plan to provide a conducive and safe learning environment for school children.
“62,000 schools nationwide are physically porous and this is a very large number. This is not to say that building a fence actually stops abductions. “We must also educate children, teachers and communities and put alarm systems in place. Like the head of civil defence says, educate the communities to know what to expect and identify telltale signs of abduction. “We will come up with a national plan and use it as an instrument to mobile resources”, she added.
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