Armed Bandits invade Kogi Science, Tech Varsity, abduct students

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja

Armed bandits in their numbers have invaded Kogi-owned Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara, and abducted unspecified number of students.

According to eye witness accounts, the invasion took place on Thursday night while the students were having tutorials in preparation for their upcoming first semester examinations.

The Eye witnesses who were mainly escaped students of the institution, said that the bandits invaded the campus at about 9 pm from the bushes surrounding the University and started shooting sporadically.

They said that the bandits invaded the institution from different routes and headed straight to the lecture halls where the students were having their tutorials.

They were however full of praises for the University’s security personnel who gallantly engaged the bandits in a gun duel that lasted over 30 minutes in the bid to repel them.

Some of the students who spoke to newsmen reiterated the need to open the second gate as they lamented that only the main gate was left as an escape route for them in the melee that engulfed the academic environment.

Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdulrahman Asipita who confirmed the incident said, the situation was under control but could not ascertain the number of students abducted.

Meanwhile, Kogi State Government in a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Kingsley Femi Fanwo, said nine students are missing.

The Commissioner said that the State Government received the very disturbing news at about 21.00 hrs.

He said that immediately the report was received, Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo activated the security architecture to track the kidnappers and ensure the abducted students are rescued and the abductors apprehended.

Fanwo revealed that hundreds of local hunters who understand the terrain, in synergy with conventional security agents, are currently combing the bushes.

He assured that the rescue team would ensure safe rescue of the abducted students adding that so far, nine students cannot be accounted for.

“We wish to assure students, parents and the entire people of Kogi State that the Government is on top of the situation and all the abducted students will be rescued alive.

“Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo has also directed that security agents be positioned around all tertiary institutions in the State”, he said.

The state government however commended the gallantry of the local hunters and other security agents who quickly mobilised and engaged the kidnappers.

“Their gallantry and dedication ensured that the kidnappers did not have a field day which would have been more calamitous.

“The State Government will spare nothing in ensuring that all the students abducted are safely rescued and reunited with their families. We won’t submit to terror. We shall prevail”, the Commissioner said.