Scores of Students Feared Kidnapped in Niger
Laleye Dipo in Minna
A yet-to-be-estimated number of students of an Islamiyya school located at Tegina in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State have been abducted.
One person was shot dead while another was critically injured after gunmen attacked the school at about 4:30pm yesterday.
A resident of the area, Zayyad Mohammed, confirmed the incident to Channels Television in a telephone interview.
Mohammed said the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, where the incident took place, was built by a retired immigration officer.
According to him, the school is not the usual boarding Islamic citadel, but an unconventional one where parents send their children daily to acquire Islamic education.
An eyewitness told THISDAY that the gunmen went to the school, close to the Tegina Police Station, and abducted the children.
It was gathered that they separated the smaller children from the older and stronger ones, taking away those in the latter group to an unknown destination.
Tegina town is a few kilometres from Kagara the headquarters of Rafi LGA, where 27 school boys were abducted on February 27.
Director-General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Inga, confirmed the incident when contacted on telephone but said “we don’t have the details yet.”
Niger State Police spokesman, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed that a horde of bandits on motorcycles invaded Tegina town, shooting indiscriminately, during the operation.
Abiodun said operatives were yet to ascertain how many children were abducted.
He said the command had mobilised all tactical teams, including Operation Puff Adder 2, to rescue the abductees.
Abiodun called for calm, saying that the police, in conjunction with other security agencies, will do everything possible to ensure that the children are rescued unhurt.
Similarly, the Secretary to the Niger State Government, Mr. Ahmed Matane, said the state government was in touch with parents in the area to know those whose children were abducted.
Matane, who is the chairman of the State Security Committee, added that while the attack in Tegina was going on, there were simultaneous attacks in Lavun LGA and some fringes of Mashegu LGA.
He said though the simultaneous attacks were overwhelming for security agencies at the time, the government in collaboration with the security agencies had mobilised troops to the various locations, including local vigilantes.