An unknown number of students at the Federal University of Gusau were kidnapped on Friday morning, 22nd September 2023.
A resident of Sabon-Gida, identified as Nazeer Sabon-Gida, told newsmen that the gunmen invaded the community around 3 a.m. and started shooting indiscriminately.
According to him, three students’ hostels were attacked, and the bandits took away all the students.
“They entered the town around 3 am and started shooting indiscriminately,” he said.
“We have yet to confirm the number of students kidnapped because the bandits entered three hostels and kidnapped all the students there. It is difficult to ascertain their numbers now.”
Another eyewitness disclosed that the bandits were engaged with troops of the Nigerian Army in a fierce gun battle, but that did not stop the bandits from escaping with the kidnapped victims.
“They were seriously engaged with the army troops but the way these bandits operate, they will divide themselves into two, one group will move with the kidnapped victims while the other will stay behind to protect the first group,” he said.
“The first group had left with the students while the second group engaged the army in a gun duel.”
Some university students protested the surge of kidnappings in Sabon-Gida and Damba three months ago.
The university authority and the state police command both declined to comment.
In a related development, no fewer than 21 suspected bandits have been reportedly killed by security agencies in collaboration with vigilante and locals in Danko Wasagu Local Government Area of Kebbi.
Council Chairman, Alhaji Hussani Aliyu-Bena confirmed this while speaking in a telephone interview with newsmen.
Bena disclosed that Danko Wasagu is sharing boarder with Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State where the bandits get access to Kebbi State.
According to him, “the incident started on Monday through Tuesday up to Wednesday, these bandits came through Mariga into Tudun Bichi under Wasagu. But a credible intelligence kept the security agencies, vigilante group and locals on alert which led to a successful ambush on them”.
He said the locals in collaboration with vigilante killed 17 suspected bandits recovered arms, ammunitions and motorcycles, while two locals were killed during the operation.
Bena added that the bandits also moved to Tangaran village and abducted nine farmers working on their farmlands but all of them were later rescued by combined efforts of security agencies, vigilante and locals at a village called Lugga under Ayu District.
The chairman said a careful watch on the movement of the bandits also resulted in another encounter at Bakin Gulbi village where the combined team killed four bandits, recovered weapons and rescued three kidnapped persons.
Bena who assured that the bandits’ movement was being monitored for further action expressed sadness that the bandits attack in Marafan Mai Inuwa village under Kanya District where they abducted some people.
He said that the abductees have been rescued by the army after killing some of the bandits.
He said that in line with the directives of the Governor: “We have visited Kanya District, where all the displaced persons from the surrounding villages converged and we commiserated with the people and presented a message (token) from His Excellency, Kauran Gwandu.”
While commending the gallant efforts of security agencies, vigilante and locals, Bena appealed to people for more support and cooperation towards providing credible intelligence to effectively flush out criminals out of their areas.
The Chairman pleaded for more deployment of military personnel at Malekachi village which remained a transit route for the bandits as well as Dankade village.
He assured that the council had communicated with the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs on how the ministry would assist the affected victims with palliatives to cushion the effects of the ugly development.