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Farmers, varsity students abducted in Borno, Katsina

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents have abducted an unspecified number of farmers in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.  Sources told Daily Trust on Wednesday…

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents have abducted an unspecified number of farmers in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State. 

Sources told Daily Trust on Wednesday that the farmers were kidnapped from their farms on Tuesday. 

The insurgents had, penultimate Saturday, killed 10 farmers and abducted several others in Mafa Local Government Area of the state.

In the latest incident, the terrorists were said to have ridden motorcycles to carry out the attack on the farms, about 13 kilometers away from Bama town.

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A resident said the captors, who came from the Gulumba axis, led the captives “into the fringe of the Sambisa forest.” 

“Many farmers were abducted, we don’t how many of them have been kidnapped by Boko Haram. 

“We’re begging the army and other security agencies to scale up their operations to provide covers for farmers at Gulumba wards,” he said. 

A source within the Civilian Joint Task Force said the insurgents had been terrorizing farmers in the Bama axis in recent times. 

“It’s becoming scary, it’s occurring almost on a daily basis, either by maiming or abductions of farmers around Bama town many times unreported. We got the report that some farmers were kidnapped on Tuesday,” he said.

A security source also confirmed the incident and said the security operatives in Bama and its environs were working hard to ensure farmers go to their farms without fear of abductions. 

It would be recalled that a fortnight ago, six persons, including two monarchs, were abducted in the Damboa Local Government Area of the state. 

In the early hours of Wednesday, bandits attacked the student dormitories of the Federal University in Dutsinma (FUDMA), Katsina State and abducted five female students. 

This was 12 days after bandits, in their large number, forced their way into three hostels of the Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State and abducted 24 students. 

It was gathered that the attack on FUDMA happened yesterday at the students’ off-campus dormitories behind Mariamoh Ajiri School, close to the Wednesday Market in Dutsinma, Katsina State.

A student of the university said five of the captives are from Kano and Nasarawa States; and that “two of them are final year students.”

There was no information concerning the situation of the victims as the abductors had yet to contact their families.

Students said sequel to the abduction at the Federal University in Gusau in Zamfara State, the authorities of FUDMA had instructed students to remain indoors from 10pm.

The university’s spokesperson, Habibu Aminu, said the incident happened around 2am on Wednesday, adding that efforts were ongoing to rescue the victims.

The spokesman of the Katsina State Police Command, ASP Sadiq Abubakar, said one person suspected of giving information to the terrorists was arrested.

He said some people were also arrested for alleged involvement in the abduction.

Aliyu said there were coordinated efforts to rescue the students unharmed. 

 

Students’ abduction threat to education in North-Speaker Abbas 

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, on Wednesday lamented the resurgence of abductions of students at tertiary institutions by bandits in the North West. 

The speaker, in a statement by his spokesman, Musa Abdullahi Krishi, was reacting to the abduction of five students of the Federal University, Dutsinma. 

He said the abduction posed serious threats to education in the North and anywhere else in the country. 

Abbas called on security agencies to rescue the abducted students and prevent any recurrence. 

He charged the military and relevant security agencies to as a matter of urgency, rejig their architecture and approaches to ensure security of all Nigerians. 

He also called on the host communities of tertiary institutions to help security agents by being vigilant and reporting any suspicious movement in their areas.  

 

Taraba in critical need of security – Gov 

Taraba State Governor Agbu Kefas yesterday visited the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, in Abuja and appealed for deployment of a battalion of troops in the state to secure ungoverned spaces which he had been taken over by bandits. 

Kefas described the security challenge in the state as very high, saying his administration was ready to bear the cost of having a battalion of troops in the state. 

“We’re in critical need of security in the state. The COAS is knowledgeable about our terrain and the problems we are facing. We have borders with six states – Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Gombe, Plateau and Bauchi. 

“Our challenge is very high. We cannot solve it without your support. We intend to dominate the vast ungoverned spaces in our state to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens. To achieve this our desire, we’ll require a battalion. 

“We’re ready to give you our support to achieve this. We need serious support to dominate the uncovered spaces to counter some of the threats we have,” the governor told the army chief.

Responding, Lagbaja promised to deploy more combat enablers to the state, noting that a battalion already existed in the North East in Borno.

He said there would be prompt commencement of a unit in Taraba State. 

He said, “As part of our efforts to ensure peace and stability in the state, we’ve activated our 16 brigade. We appreciate your interventions to ensure our operational effectiveness in the state. We want to expand the frontiers of peace in Taraba state. We’ll stop at nothing to ensure that.

“We’ll provide more combat enablers for 6 brigade and Garrison. We’ll also ensure the quick take-off of the 114 Battalion so that we’ll have more booths on the ground to complement the non-kinetic approach of the governor.”  

 

Reps ask COAS, IGP to deploy personnel to Katsina  

The House of Representatives on Wednesday asked the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector-General of Police to deploy more security personnel to address the security challenges in Dandume Local Government Area of Katsina State. 

The House also urged the Chief of Army Staff to establish an operational unit for rapid response in the area to address the worsening insecurity in the area and its environs in Funtua.

The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion by Abubakar Ahmad Muhammad (APC, Katsina) who said the insecurity in the area and its environs had assumed a worrisome dimension in recent times. He said the area had become a haven for bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and other criminals. 

He said due to attacks, many rural dwellers had been displaced and farming activities paralysed, leading to economic loss to Katsina State and the nation at large. 

He said the number of out-of-school children had also significantly increased as schools were frequently attacked and students kidnapped thus creating fear amongst parents who prefer their children to stay at home.