Apex northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has condemned the abduction of mostly female students of the Federal University Gusau (FUGUS), from their private hostels, at Sabon Gida Village, Bungudu local government area of Zamfara State.
ACF said although official information about the incident is scanty, relative to the enormity of the incident, personal testimonies from witnesses to the disturbing incident suggests that the attack was well planned, coordinated and executed by the bandits/terrorists.
ACF averred that evidently the female students were specifically targeted, and the bandits were at the crime scene fully prepared. “Efforts to repel the bandits by elements of the Nigerian Army neither deterred nor stopped the bandits from going off with a yet-to-be fully ascertained number of hapless victims.
“ACF condemns the abductions in the strongest of terms. It is very disconcerting that such a most unfortunate criminal incident is not the first of its kind in memory but it certainly is one abduction far too many to occur in any community in Nigeria, nor elsewhere in the world,” it said.
ACF in the statement issued by the national publicity secretary, Prof. T. A. Muhammad-Baba said, the incident is even more worrisome, being of far-reaching negative implications, among many others, for access to education which, especially for the girl-child, is subject to many formidable challenges in the best of times.
It said a pointer to the unfolding tragedy is in an apparent voice note on social media where a girl was heard stating that her father had called her home, ordering that her pursuit of a university degree be abandoned, while another was heard advising intending candidates for admission not to select this particular institution as place of choice. It said this is absolutely and highly regrettable development to be condemned in all its ramifications.
ACF called on the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to spare no efforts in ensuring that the abducted students are released unharmed forthwith.
ACF urges the FGN to rejig Nigeria’s security architecture and to come up with new multi-pronged containment strategies against security and related existential threats bedevilling schools and indeed all communities, stressing that such new strategies should aim at the total eradication of the scourge of banditry and terrorism country-wide.