NIGERIA. Niger State: Bandits have attacked a government science secondary school in Rafi local government area of Niger state in Nigeria.
The attack occurred on Wednesday morning at about 2 am.
The Government Science College, Kagara a boarding school meant for students who want to go into the field of sciences.
27 Students, 3 staff and 12 members of their family were abducted.
How the Attack occurred
It was learnt that the bandits whose number cannot be confirmed entered into the school compound and went to the staff quarters to abduct the staff alongside their families.
The abducted staff were then led to the students hostel to abduct the students.
Majority of the students, upon sensing the intention of the bandits who claimed they were soldiers took to their heels while some of the students who were not fast enough were abducted.
The bandits shot sporadically to stop the fleeing students but none heeded to the shots, however, one student, Benjamin Habila was shot dead.
It was learnt that the bandits tied the abducted students, staff and their family members in pairs and matched them out to unknown destination.
Some of the staff and students who escaped revealed that the bandits were dressed in different military uniform.
Niger state Government takes steps to prevent further attacks
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has closed all boarding schools in the areas affected by insecurity in the state.
This is to prevent the bandits from attacking more schools. The schools in Rafi, Mariga, Munya and Shiroro local government areas of the state would remain close till further notice.
The government has said that it is taking kinetic and non-kinetic steps towards ensuring the kidnapped people are returned safely.
Federal Government to the Rescue
The federal government of Nigeria has deployed troops to search for the bandits and ensure their safe return.
Air and land surveillance have begun in earnest with four units of special operatives of the police force deployed to the state.
The federal and state government have assured the parents of the students and families of the staff and their families kidnapped of their safe return.
No Plan to Negotiate with Bandits
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has declared that he will not negotiate with the bandits
According to him, he has no plans to pay ransom to any bandits adding that it would make the bandits more daring and make them keep committing the crime.
“It is not in our policy as a government to pay ransom to bandits because we have noticed that they use this sand money to buy arms and ammunition”, the Governor said.
This decision of the Governor is being backed by the state House of Assembly who said that negotiation with the bandits would lead to more anarchy in the state.
The Legislators said that states that have tried to go into negotiation with the bandits have not succeeded as the bandits later return to the business of kidnapping and become more daring than ever.
The Legislators declare that they will not allow the bandits to turn the state into a business venture.