Survivors, along with the families of the abducted students from Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, and members of the local community, recounted their harrowing experiences from the recent attack on the university. The assault, carried out by armed bandits in the early hours of September 21, resulted in the abduction of an unspecified number of female students and others,Daily Trust reports.
Alhaji Musa Yusuf, who had the misfortune of being the initial target, described how the assailants, armed with firearms and local weapons, forcefully entered his home. They demanded money and mobile phones, ransacking his house and terrorizing his family, eventually dragging his son and granddaughter outside. Yusuf’s account continued as he recounted how the bandits proceeded to a nearby hostel, breaking down its door and abducting the students inside. Contrary to expectations, the attackers had arrived on foot rather than motorcycles, leaving a trail of fear and chaos.
The attackers eventually gathered all the abducted individuals in one place before splitting into groups. One group left with the captives, while the other remained behind, continuing to fire gunshots. The survivors, who had endured hours of terror, expressed their hopes for the safe return of their loved ones and the need for improved security.
The September 21 attack was the third such incident at the university since its establishment, with previous abductions of students. Observations revealed that the lack of perimeter fencing and limited security personnel made the university vulnerable to such attacks. Additionally, the absence of on-campus hostels forced students to reside in private accommodations within the surrounding villages, further exposing them to security threats.
Students living in these private hostels called for increased security measures, highlighting the need for adequate protection, given the traumatic experiences they endured. They expressed concerns about the impact of such incidents on their education and implored the university and government authorities to prioritize their safety.
The management of the university confirmed the rescue of 16 individuals, including 14 students, but did not disclose details about the rescue operation or any potential ransom payments. Information from the police was limited, confirming the rescue of seven students without specifying the rescuers or the number of students still in captivity.
Zamfara State’s government did not disclose the exact number of abducted students but criticized undisclosed individuals for negotiating with the bandits without its knowledge. The state governor called for collaboration among northern governors to address the growing security challenges in the region. He emphasized that negotiations with armed individuals were futile until they surrendered their weapons, advocating for a unified effort between federal and state governments to restore peace and security.
A delegation from the Coalition of Northern Group visited the state, expressing sympathy for the abducted students and urging governments at both levels to confront security challenges and ensure the safe return of the captives. They called for prioritizing the well-being of Zamfara’s people above political differences in addressing the security crisis.