NIGERIAN security forces have managed to rescue about 180 of the 210 staff and pupils abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna State yesterday following a joint operation by military and police operatives.
In what is now becoming a regular occurrence, yesterday, armed gunmen stormed the school in Afaka in Igabi Local Government Area on the outskirts of Kaduna and whisked away the students. As happened with recent abductions in Zamfara, Niger and Katsina states, the heavily armed bandits were hoping to hold them in exchange for a hefty ransom fee.
This time around, however, the authorities acted swiftly and a team was quickly despatched to the school while the abduction was still ongoing involving men of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police Force and Department of State Security (DSS). They engaged the bandits and managed to rescue 180 of those abducted but about 30 people are still missing.
Samuel Aruwan, the Kaduna State commissioner for internal security and home affairs, said that 42 female students, 130 male students and eight members staff were rescued by the security operatives. He added, however, that about 30 students, a mixture of males and females, are yet to be accounted for.
Mr Aruwan said: “Troops of the Nigerian Army in the early hours of today, Friday, 12th March 2021 rescued 180 citizens, many of them students, at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The armed bandits in large numbers had attacked the institution at around 11.30 pm on Thursday and kidnapped several students and staff.
“The armed bandits broke into the institution by breaching a perimeter fence and they then encroached about 600 meters to attack the first facility. The Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, on receiving a distress call, alerted the First Division of the Nigerian Army and the Air Training Command of the Nigerian Air Force.
“Troops of the Nigerian Army immediately moved to the school and engaged the armed bandits accordingly. Troops successfully rescued 180 citizens, 42 female students, eight staff and 130 male students but about 30 students, a mix of males and females, are yet to be accounted for.
“Some of the rescued students were injured and are presently receiving medical attention at a military facility. Receiving the report, Governor Nasir El-Rufai thanked the troops for their swift response and the rescue of the 180 citizens and he also wished the injured students a speedy recovery.
“As at the time of this update, a combined team of Army, Air Force, Police and DSS troops are conducting an operation to track the missing students. Citizens will be updated on emerging developments.”