The terrorists who abducted nine students of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria along Abuja-Kaduna highway on Sunday while on their way to Lagos for a program at the Nigerian French Language Village, Badagry, have demanded N270 million as a ransom to free them.
The abducted students, according to the university campus blog, Abusite, were identified as Okafor Grace, Kyenpia Bulus, Jemimah Badmus, Aliyu. S. Adamu, Synonym Praise, Ziya Asoji, Elizabeth John, Victor Agbo and Precious Mutum.
Dickson Oko, one of the students in the bus when the terrorists attacked but succeeded in escaping, told Daily Trust that the kidnappers had reached out to the families of the kidnapped students, demanding N30 million ransom on each.
During the attack, Oko said he sustained a gunshot wound but managed to escape, adding that when he returned to the bus after the kidnappers had left, his phones and those of others were no longer there.
Also, a female relative of one of the kidnapped students told the Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service monitored in Kaduna that the kidnappers had reached out to the family demanding N30 million per student.
She pleaded with the kidnappers to have mercy and release the victims, saying they were only students.
Oko and the bus driver, Nuruddeen Mohammed, told Daily Trust that 12 of them were on the bus but nine students were kidnapped.
The driver narrated to Daily Trust how he and three other students escaped the grip of the bandits in the Kaduna-Abuja highway kidnap incident.
Reports say the students, who were on their way to the French Village in Lagos for their language immersion programme, were attacked at the Akilubu-Gidan Busa axis on the highway where the gunmen had blocked both lanes of the road and opened fire on motorists.
The abducted students were said to be at 300 level. The university has confirmed that eight people were kidnapped. But Mohammed, the driver, said he had 12 students in the bus – 10 females and two males and only three escaped.
HumAngle reports that public universities across Nigeria are still closed down due to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The news was first broken by Precious Owunna, a student of the Nigeria French Language Village in Badagry who told the ABU news blog of the incident.
She said one of the students was shot while trying to escape, while another woman was left behind because of her baby.
“I’m a UNN student also running my program in Badagry. We got information that some of our student colleagues from ABU Zaria were kidnapped, around 17 of them,” Owunna said.
“Someone tried to escape and was shot. The wounded person and a woman with a baby were left behind by the kidnappers.”
The abduction came a day after terrorists stormed Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria, shot a lecturer to death and abducted his two children.
Abdullahi Shehu, Secretary, Information and Protocol Unit of the Polytechnic, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview on Sunday that the victims were abducted from their homes located within the institution.
He added that the father of the two abducted children was injured by the gunmen and was receiving treatment at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria.
Shehu said the kidnapped lecturer teaches at the School of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Electronics of the polytechnic.
Mohammed Jalige, Spokesman of Kaduna State Police Command, confirmed the incident and said police operatives had been deployed to secure the area, track the perpetrators and rescue the victims.
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