Banditry is common in northwest Nigeria.

 

Bandits have invaded a residential area in Tsafe town and abducted five students of the College of Health Science and Technology, Tsafe, Zamfara State.

The incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday. A source in the area told Channels Television that the students were abducted when heavily armed men stormed their residence outside the school campus.

He said the bandits could not gain entrance to the school due to the heavy presence of security personnel.


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The source, however, said one of the students escaped from the abductors.

Police authorities in Zamfara State have confirmed the abductions. The spokesperson of the Command, Muhammed Shehu, said the command has deployed troops to trail the bandits and rescue the victims unhurt.

Monday’s incident adds to the long list of kidnaping in schools in Nigeria’s northwest region where banditry has gained roots.

Several schools in the region have been attacked in recent months with scores of students kidnapped but later released. Authorities have, however, denied paying ransom for the freed students.

Despite efforts by the government, banditry is on the rise and critics have accused authorities of being complacent in tackling the menace.

As part of plans to tame it, some governments across the region last year introduced a string of measures, including banning of sales of petroleum products in jerry cans and blockage of telecommunication services. But the moves were reversed months after.

The Federal Government had also designated the bandits as terrorists as calls mount for the criminals to be more military action against them.