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‘We Are Having Sleepless Nights’: Parents Of Abducted Zamfara Students Lament 

Over 30 students and workers of Federal University Gusau were abducted last week by terrorists. So far, 18 of them have made it back home. Families of the remaining students who remain unaccounted for say they are filled with worry and uncertainty.

 The parents of the remaining abducted students from Federal University Gusau in Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria, have shared the anguish of their sleepless nights since the abduction of their children. 

The collective worry and uncertainty have left families like that of Mallam Hafizu Jammo, a father to one of the victims, Rukayya Hafizu Jammo, in a state of uncertainty.

“We are deeply concerned, but we remain hopeful that all the students and workers will return, especially since some have already come back,” Jammo said.

The nightmare began on Sept. 22 when more than 30 students and workers of Federal University Gusau were abducted by terrorists in the middle of the night.

The terrorists broke into the houses of the students living off-campus and moved them into forest areas. A video circulating on social media has shown broken doors and windows in the abducted students’ campus.

While approximately 18 have been rescued following gunshots with the Nigerian military, the rest, including Rukayya Hafizu Jammo, remain in captivity, leaving their families in a state of discomfort.

“Since her cousin at the school informed us about the incident, there has been no word from her or the abductors,” Mallam Jammo lamented.

Another distressed father, who didn’t mention his name, appealed to the authorities to ensure the safe return of their children.

“My home is now a place of mourning, filled with anxious souls,” he said. “We want them back; that’s all we yearn for,” he added. 

A source within the state government told HumAngle that the authorities believe the abductors faced overwhelming opposition, leading to the dispersal of the students, who are gradually making their way home in groups. 

“The victims are no longer with the abductors,” the source said. “The terrorists have been outmatched, causing some of the abductors to flee, rendering them unable to make contact,” the source elaborated.

According to him, efforts to rescue the remaining abducted individuals persist and measures have been taken to seal off all possible escape routes for the terrorists from Zamfara.

On social media platforms, an outpouring of calls for the swift rescue of the victims underscores the national concern and empathy for those affected.

Since the harrowing 2014 kidnapping of 276 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram, these incidents have become rampant in the northern part of the country.

In Zamfara State, 317 students were abducted from the Government Science Secondary School, Jengebe. The students were released after negotiations in which the state government claimed no ransom was paid.

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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