Police Hunt for 5 Schoolgirls Kidnapped by Bandits in Niger State

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Niger State Police Command has begun a massive search for five schoolgirls, their teacher and a security guard abducted by bandits from their Tulare Academy School, Maruba, in Mariga Local Government Area of the state last Sunday.

It was gathered that the bandits numbering about 36 came into the school on motorcycles on Sunday evening and started shooting into the air causing panic and in the process, they abducted the five girls, their teacher and the security man.

The bandits were said to have taken advantage of the remote location of the private boarding primary school, its lack of perimeter fence and communication to carry out the operation.

The school has now been deserted. However, Niger State Police Commissioner, Alhaji Adamu Unman who led heads of other security agencies to the school said, “a special technical squad and armed anti-kidnapping squad had been deployed to the area to rescue the victims unhurt.”

He explained that the visit of the security chiefs to the scene was to enable them deploy additional security men to the school and the community to forestall future attack.

Unman however said that no amount of pressure and intimidation would deter the command from discharging its constitutional mandate of safeguarding lives and properties of people in the state, but appealed to communities in the state to always report any person or group of persons with questionable character to the nearest security agencies for prompt response.

Also last Sunday, the Pastor of Kauna Baptist Church, Danazunmi near Grigori in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, Reverend Genesis Zaka and three female church members were kidnapped by bandits.

The names of the kidnapped female church members were given as Tabitha Luka, Liatu Nuhu and Rahila Luka.
The pastor and the female church members were said to have been abducted by the bandits during the morning Sunday service.

An eyewitness who narrated how the incident occurred told THISDAY that during the service, the bandits came in large number riding on motorcycles and surrounded the church resulting in a stampede with many of the worshipers running for their lives.
It was in the confusion that the pastor and the three female church members were kidnapped.

The source said that on Monday the bandits contacted the church secretary asking for N30 million ransom before those kidnapped would be released.
The church reportedly pleaded that they could only raise N40,000 which the bandits reportedly rejected but promised to get back to them.