By John Shiklam
Barely three days after the abduction of 39 students of the Federal School of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna, security agencies on Saturday foiled attempts by bandits to abduct students of Government Secondary Science School (GSSS) Ikara, Ikara Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, disclosed this while addressing journalists on Sunday in Kaduna.
The commissioner also said security forces also repelled a fresh attack on the Senior Staff Quarters of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigerian (FAAN), Kaduna, where 11 people were abducted about two weeks ago.
According to Aruwan, the bandits stormed GSSS, Ikara, in the late hours of Saturday in an attempt to kidnap the students, but the students alerted security agencies who responded swiftly, forcing the bandits to flee.
Aruwan said: “Between the late hours of Saturday night and the early hours of today (Sunday), suspected bandits stormed the Government Science Secondary School, Ikara, Ikara Local Government Area, in an attempt to kidnap students.
“Fortunately, the students utilized the security warning system in place and were thus able to alert security forces in the area.
“The security forces comprising the troops of the Nigerian Army, police and some security volunteers moved swiftly to the school and engaged the bandits, forcing them to flee.
“The military and police are still on the trail of the armed bandits.”
He said following a headcount of the students by the management of the school, “the Kaduna State Government can confirm to you that all 307 students have been verified safe and present”.
He added that: “The attempted kidnap was foiled completely and no student was taken from the school.”
The commissioner said a fresh attempt to attack the Kaduna Senior Staff Quarters of FAAN, which is close to the airport, was repelled by security agencies.
“Similarly, around Ifira village in Igabi Local Government Area, bandits attempted to attack a Senior Staff Quarters (of FAAN) around the Kaduna Airport general area.
“This attempt was also foiled as troops of the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Army engaged and repelled them, with several escaping with gunshot wounds.
“The Kaduna State Government acknowledges the efforts of the security agencies in the recent rescue of 180 students in the vicinity of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka.
“These efforts have been mentioned in interviews given by some of the rescued students.
“By virtue of access to the facts of the event, the Kaduna State Government extends its unequivocal solidarity to the military, police, Department of State Services and other security agencies, whose swift intervention prevented the bandits from abducting more persons,” the commissioner said.
Aruwan, who declined to entertain questions from journalists during the briefing, said further that: “The Kaduna State maintains a clear focus at this time, and that is to ensure the safe return of the missing students, and to consolidate intelligence gathering and security vigilance towards forestalling possible attempts on other facilities or institutions.
“As a government, our focus is on getting back our missing students and preventing further episodes of school abductions. We will continue to provide updates as further information becomes available.”
On Thursday, bandits invaded the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna and abducted 39 students.
A video of the abducted students has gone viral on the social media, showing, the students appealing to government to settle the bandits as they were being flogged by the criminals.