Armed bandits on Tuesday morning broke into the staff quarters of the University of Abuja, seizing a professor, his children and a yet-unclear number of other staff members.
A spokesman for the school told The Gazette that the incident occurred shortly after 12:00 a.m. An economics professor Obansa Joseph was taken away alongside two of his children at gunpoint, officials said. The other officials who were also seized were not immediately named.
The school said in a statement on Facebook that the matter would be investigated as efforts have intensified towards rescuing the abductees. The attackers have not called in to demand a ransom, The Gazette learnt.
The incident came as Abuja and its environs had been coming under increased security threats from violent criminals. A spokesman for the police in Abuja did not immediately return a request seeking comments from The Gazette about the development on Tuesday morning.
Later, the police issued a statement confirming the attack. A few days ago, bandits had bombed the Kaduna-Abuja train.
“Preliminary investigations, however, revealed that six (6) persons were allegedly abducted into the forest by the criminals on sighting the security operatives,” said the police.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in October accused the Nigerian media of exaggerating insecurity, saying insecurity is on the decline. The State Security Service had similarly blamed journalists over increasing insecurity, claiming their reports of insecurity help bandits, terrorists and secessionists “thrive.”
In October, Peoples Gazette reported that armed bandits bombed a train travelling between Abuja and Kaduna, inflicting technical damages on the country’s major rail infrastructure.
The Gazette had previously reported how robbers attacked the home of Mr Buhari’s chief of staff, Ibrahim Gambari, in the Aso Villa, looting properties and money.
Read full police statement below:
FCT POLICE COMMAND PRESS RELEASE
In reply please quote,
Ref No: AZ:2550/FCT/PPRO/VOL9/16
Date: 2nd November, 2021
The Director of News
POLICE FORTIFY SECURITY IN AND AROUND THE UNIVERSITY OF ABUJA
– As CP Babaji Sunday reassures residents of the FCT, safety and protection of lives and property.
The Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, CP Babaji Sunday has dispatched additional tactical and conventional policing resources to the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) main and satellite campuses as well as the staff quarters and other affiliate formations of the university, to fortify security, improve public safety and protect citizens in and around the university community.
The CP gave the order following report that some yet to be identified armed criminals invaded the UNIABUJA Staff Quarters located at the GIRI area of the FCT in the early hours of today, 2nd November, 2021.
The CP noted that a combined team of the Police and personnel of the Nigerian Army 176 Guards Battalion were swiftly mobilized to the area to protect the citizens. Preliminary investigations however revealed that six (6) persons were allegedly abducted into the forest by the criminals on sighting the security operatives.
The CP, while calling for calm, further noted that the security forces are already working with the locals in the area toward rescuing the victims. He assuured that the perpetrators would be arrested and brought to book.
4. On this note, the Command pledges its undeterred resolve to ensure lives and properties of residents within the FCT are protected and urge them to report all suspicious movements, emergency or distress, through these numbers: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653 and 08028940883.
DSP Josephine Adeh ANIPR,
Police Public Relations Officer,
For: The Commissioner of Police
FCT Police Command,