✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters

3 months after, no clue on whereabouts of abducted Zamfara varsity students

Three months after the abduction of scores of students of the Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, their parents have expressed concern over the prolonged silence…

Three months after the abduction of scores of students of the Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, their parents have expressed concern over the prolonged silence by the federal government and the management of the institution on the matter.       

Some of the parents, who spoke to Daily Trust, said neither the management of the institution nor the federal government had briefed them about the whereabouts or condition of their children since the unfortunate incident.

Alhaji Muhammad Malami, one of the affected parents, said they were in a dilemma, as according to him, they are left to search for the whereabouts of their children.

Malami lamented that government and the management of the institution have failed woefully in handling the situation. “It appears nothing is being done by both the government and management of the university to rescue our children.

“As I am speaking with you wallahi I and my wife are ill and we cannot sleep at all. We are always thinking of our daughter. I only recovered today. Had it been it was yesterday that you called, Wallahi I would not have been able to pick your call because I was critically ill. I was lying on bed throughout yesterday. In fact, since the abduction of my daughter, I and her mother fell sick and we have been battling with our health up till today.

“You can imagine scores of female students abducted and held in a bush for months and government is making no effort to rescue them. What type of leaders do we have in this country? Our leaders are joking with the lives of innocent citizens. This is terrible and unfortunate,” he lamented.

Alhaji Malami further said they are not being updated on the matter by the government, management of the university and security agencies, adding that “the trio have remained silent on the issue as if nothing happened to our children.

“Nobody cares to brief us about our children and this clearly shows that the authorities are not making any effort to rescue our daughters.”

What do the bandits want?

Asked whether the bandits have contacted him, Malami said he was contacted twice; first, by one of the abducted students, who was chosen by the bandits to speak to parents of the affected students and second, by one of the bandits.

“The bandits gave a female student a list of parents and their phone numbers to tell us to speak to government to settle their demands. When the lady called my number and explained who she was and where she was calling from, I asked her to hand-over the phone to my daughter but she said they were not together.

“She said she was taken to another place where there is network service to make the calls. And while we were speaking one of the bandits around interjected and cut off the conservation. I overheard him saying to the lady in Hausa language “Ya isa haka (that is enough)” and he switched off the phone.

“Secondly, one of the bandits called me later and said we (the parents) should tell government to release their people who were arrested in Zamfara State after they returned from Hajj about two years ago. He even mentioned one Ibrahim Alheri whom he said was among the arrested persons they want government to release before they would release our daughters.

“So, from my conversation with this bandit, one can understand what they want from the government. They want a swap between our daughters and their people who are currently in detention. My call to the government is that something should be done to rescue our children,” he said.

Another parent, whose daughter was also kidnapped, Dr Ibrahim Mai-Unguwa, told Daily Trust: “We, the parents on our part, have intensified prayers for divine intervention. You know this is something that is beyond human control. So, as Muslim faithful, the best way to handle the situation is to embark on rigorous prayers and that is what we have been doing since the unfortunate incident.

“This is because we do not have any access to the bandits for us to speak to them directly. So, prayer is our best option and we are optimistic that Allah will see us through. I have spoken with the bandits only once since the abduction of the students, but I can understand that those I spoke with are not the leaders, but rather their boys who were assigned to guard our children. That’s what I understand. But they keep on saying they have some demands which they want government to settle and once that is done they will release our children.

“But sometimes, the bandits used to call the mothers of the abducted students to either speak with them or link them with their daughters to talk to them for a few minutes. Apart from that, nothing has transpired between the parents of the abducted students and the bandits since the unfortunate incident.

“But, on my own, I have tried to contact our senators from Katsina State to discuss the issue with them but I was only able to reach one of them, Senator Abdulaziz Yar’Adua. I have explained everything to him and he said as soon as he returns to Nigeria he will see what he can do to rescue our children.

“On the part of the management of the university, the institution contacted some of us through our phone numbers only once. And since then we have not heard anything from the institution until the day we visited the university early in November.

“We were told during the visit that the bandits have informed the management not to entertain any bandit that approached it with demands for money to release the abducted students. The bandits said all they want from the government is to settle their demands,” he said.

It could be recalled that armed bandits on September 21, 2023, stormed Sabon-Gida village near the Federal University Gusau where students were being accommodated in private hostels and abducted scores of them at gunpoint.

The bandits, who came on foot for the operation that lasted for hours, ransacked four female hostels, the residence of the protocol officer of the university and another residential house attached to one of the affected hostels.

At the first hostel, they kidnapped all the students except three who hid in the ceiling. All the students in the second and third hostels were also kidnapped, while at the fourth hostel, only five students were abducted.

Approximately, the bandits were said to have gone with more than 50 people mostly female students, the protocol officer, his sister, eight local iron-benders working inside the university and one other person.

Daily Trust gathered that the September 21 attack on the university was the third incident since the establishment of the institution, as three students of the university were abducted during the first instance, while five others were kidnapped in the second incident.

The management of Federal University Gusau confirmed the rescue of only 16 persons out of about 50 kidnapped by the bandits during the operation that lasted for about four hours.

According to the management of the university, 14 of the rescued persons were students of the institution, while the remaining two were other individuals who were abducted alongside the students.

Efforts to get comment from the management of the university were unsuccessful, as the information officer, Umar Usman, referred this reporter to the vice chancellor, Professor Mu’azu Abubakar, but the VC on his part did not respond to calls put to him.

All efforts to reach the state’s Commissioner for Internal Security, Captain Bala Muhammad Mairiga (rtd), for comment, were also unsuccessful, as he neither picked up calls to his line by this reporter nor responded to SMS sent to him.

Nigerians are now earning dollars with premium domains, these domains can be acquired for $1500-$2000 profit margin can be as much as $15,000 to $20,000. Click here to learn how to earn dollars.
Click here to learn more.