Bandits struck in Kebbi State again on Thursday when they kidnapped scores of students and four others at the Federal Government College Birnin Yauri.
A teacher in the school, who spoke to The PUNCH on condition of anonymity, said most of the kidnapped students were in the Senior Secondary School one and two.
It was gathered that a teacher, a vice-principal, the school security officer and a wife of a teacher were together with the students taken to an unknown destination in two Hilux Pick-Up vehicles by bandits who killed a policeman.
Sources told one of our correspondents that kidnappers in their large numbers, armed with sophisticated weapons stormed the school on Thursday.
One of the sources stated, “The kidnappers invaded the school at 10 am and killed one security agent attached to the school and injured a student.
“The kidnappers in their large numbers overpowered a team of mobile policemen that attempted to repel the attack.
“Shortly after the gun battle with the police, the kidnappers broke into the school and whisked away some students and four others in two Hilux vehicles to an unknown destination.
“Following the attack, the whereabouts of at least three staff members and a wife of a teacher have yet to be ascertained. The school is still collating the number of abducted students.”
The Press Secretary to the Emir of Yauri, Mallam Ibrahim, who confirmed the incident to newsmen on the phone, said, “The kidnapper stormed the school and kidnapped both females and male students.
“The principal of the school just called the palace and told His Royal Highness what actually happened. We cannot ascertain the number of students yet,” he added.
The state police command spokesman, Nariu Abubakar, in a statement quoted the state Commissioner of Police, CP Adeleke Adeyinka, as condemning the attack.
He stated, “The commissioner of police has assured parents and guardians of students that the command is following credible leads and intensifying efforts to track the assailants and ensure the rescue of the missing students and teachers.
“A combined team of police operatives from the police mobile force, anti-kidnapping and counter-terrorism units are currently combing nearby forests, routes and suspected hideouts of the criminals.”
As of the time of sending this report at 7pm on Thursday, the state government had yet to react to the incident. A Government House source disclosed that the state Governor, Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, travelled out of the state.
Efforts to speak with the Special Adviser to the Governor on media, Mallam Yahaya Sarki, did not yield any result as several calls to his line could not connect.
But the lawmaker representing the Igaski/Shanga/Yauri in Kebbi State at the House of Representatives, Yusuf Sununu, lamented the attack.
Sununu, who addressed journalists in Abuja on Thursday, warned that the growing insecurity in Kebbi State was a major threat to food security in the country.
Sununu said the pervading insecurity in the country was becoming worrisome, saying, “gone are the days when Kebbi used to be the most peaceful in the country.
“Not long ago, we lost over 154 people from my constituency when they were travelling in a boat that capsized and we can only account for 98 corpses, with 22 survivors.