Nigeria

Group demands rescue of abducted students

Greenfield University

The Alliance for Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), a coalition of labour and civil society organisations, has asked the federal government to initiate needed actions for the urgent release of abducted students.

Gunmen attacked the Greenfield University in Kaduna state on Tuesday and abducted some students.

Three of the abducted students were later found dead on Friday in Kwanan Bature village, a location close to the university.

In reaction, President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the “barbaric” killings while expressing his condolences with families of the victims.

But in a statement on Sunday, Femi Falana, interim chairman of ASCAB, said official condemnation is not sufficient to address the lingering security crisis in the country.

He said urgent steps are needed to ensure the rescue of students abducted from Greenfield University, Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state, and Government Girls’ Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state.

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“Our hearts go to the parents and family members of the students who have been brutally murdered by one of the several gangs of bandits operating without any serious challenge in many states in the North West Zone,” he said.

“As usual, both the federal government and the Kaduna state government have perfunctorily condemned the reckless killing of the students. The official condemnation is not enough.

“The governments must take urgent steps to rescue the remaining students of the Greenfield University and other abducted students who are currently languishing in the illegal custody of bandits and terrorists, including the Chibok and Dapchi girls.”

In July 2020, ASCAB accused the federal government of showing lack of capacity to deal with the violence in the north.

The group recalled the operation which led to the rescue of an American citizen abducted by bandits in Niger state.

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It said the operation was successful owing to deployment of drones by the US government, adding that such tools should be deployed in locating the abducted students and rescuing them.

“Instead of only engaging in occasional expression of sympathy with families of abducted victims who are often killed by bandits and terrorists, the federal government and the various state governments should acquire vital security gadgets to track criminal gangs that are terrorising unarmed citizens,” it said.

“Since the federal and Kaduna state governments should bear full responsibility for the barbaric murder of the unarmed undergraduates and other citizens by criminal elements official wailing is no longer acceptable.”

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