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STUDENTS OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF LAFIYA PROTEST OVER PERSISTENT KIDNAPPING OF THEIR COLLEAGUES

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STUDENTS OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF LAFIYA PROTEST OVER PERSISTENT KIDNAPPING OF THEIR COLLEAGUES                                                      08-12-23

By Sadiq Aminu                                                   Students of Federal University of Lafia in Nasarawa State have embarked on a peaceful protest over persistent spate of kidnapping around the school.

The action followed the latest kidnap of about ten students by gunmen.

Following the establishment of the Federal University of Lafia in Nasarawa State in 2012, quite a number of villages around the school have continued to develop over the years.

Gandu community is one of the students villages that has witnessed growing population considering its proximity to the take off and permanent campuses of the university.

However, since January 2023, cases of kidnapping mostly students of the university and other criminal activities in the community have continued to rise.

Worried by this development, the students and some residents of Gandu and the surrounding communities in the Federal University of Lafia besieged the main gate of the university which led to the blockade of Lafia – Makurdi – Obi road displaying placards with comments which include “Nasarawa State Government save us from kidnappers”, “Our parents can no longer afford to pay ransom”, and “kidnapping is a threat to the education of the girl child.”

Security agencies made frantic efforts by resorting to use of teargas to disperse the students from the road to give way for traffic flow.

Village Head of Gandu Community Mallam Hassan Kassimu who joined the protesting students called on the federal and Nasarawa State governments to take decisive interventionary measures to save the area from insecurity.

Some of the students who said the Protest was prompted by recent kidnap of yet to be ascertained number of students at two different locations by unknown gunmen in their lodges stressed the need to put an end to the trend.

Reacting on the use of teargas to disperse the protesting students, the acting Commissioner of Police Nasarawa State Command, DCP Shettima Muhammed stated that adequate security patrol had been intensified around the university community.
“It illegal to block the major highway hindering innocent citizens from using the road. Motorists travelling through Lafia to Benue State and other parts of the country could not pass. We had to deploy personnel to disperse the students. It is their rights to protest but not block the road.” he said.

Head of Information and Public Relations Federal University of Lafia Mr Ibrahim Abubakar called on the students to be calm as according to him, the school had strengthened collaboration with security agencies to secure the community.

At the time of filing this report, calm had been restored to the university community but the kidnappers of the students were yet to make contact.

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