Fear grips Nasarawa students, residents over bandits’ threat

Residents of Gandu community which houses no fewer than 6,000 students of the Federal University of Lafia, including residents of the local community have be thrown into confusion and panic following a threat letter allegedly written to the community by bandits.

According to sources, the authors of the letter threatened that their next kidnapped victims would be killed as they (bandits) were no longer interested in asking for ransom from relatives of their victims.

had reported that no fewer than 12 students of the university were kidnapped between the months of October and December 2023 by the unknown gunmen who usually carried out their activities unhindered.

This serial kidnapping prompted the students, numbering over 500 to embark on a peaceful protest, demanding an end to the carnage.

The students who wielded placards with several inscriptions such as “Our lives are in peril,” “Daily kidnappings torment us,” “We need security”, occupied the federal road in Lafia for several hours until a detachment of security personnel were deployed to disperse them using tear gas.

further learnt that the threat letter from the bandits has also been a big source of concern to the management of the Federal University of Lafia who have since embarked on several meetings to ensure that the communities around the school are safe for the students who would be resuming later this month (January).

The development has equally prompted an urgent security meeting, which was presided over by the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Professor Aleruchi Chukwu.

Our correspondent gathered the more that during the meeting, the DVC Academic Affairs urged the stakeholders to work towards enhancing the peace and security of the area by designing a broad based security action plan for the university and its neighbouring communities.

While emphasising the importance of collaborative efforts among stakeholders, Prof. Chukwu also tasked the residents to be vigilant and contribute to the university’s efforts at providing a conducive and crime-free environment for effective teaching and learning.

In his remark, the Chairman of the meeting and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Partnerships of FULafia, Prof. Samaila Dakyes said the essence of holding the security meeting was to ensure the safety and security of lives and property of students and residents of the communities around the university.

In their separate speeches, the stakeholders noted that the task of securing the lives and property of students and people living within the university community must be a collective responsibility.

Therefore, they called on the community leaders to be vigilant and cooperate with the security agencies by providing timely information that would address security threats in their domains.

Speaking on the increasing spate of insecurity in the area, the Students Union Government President of the university, Comrade Ibrahim Ogabo Ismaila, emphasised the need for concrete action to be taken by the government in order to forestall future occurrences of kidnapping, armed robbery and other vices within the communities around the institution of learning.

Ogabo said, “The security operatives should focus more on blocking key access routes to the Gandu community and other communities within the area.

“Securing these few roads could greatly help in tackling the issue of insecurity which is now becoming a serious concern.”

On his part, the District Head of Gandu community, Abdullahi Mohammed, who declined speaking about the threat letter from the bandits, expressed deep concern over the worsening insecurity in the area.

Thus, he called on the state government to urgently intervene in the matter through the establishment of a police post and the deployment of military personnel to the community.

Meanwhile, in a bid to address the prevailing insecurity bedeviling the state, the present  government has earmarked the sum of N500 million in the 2024 budget for the supply and installation of electricity equipment and Closed Circuit Television in Lafia, the state capital.

reports that apart from the Federal University of Lafia, the state-owned institution, the Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic, Lafia, had also experienced series of attacks where students were kidnapped for ransom.

While informing the residents of the efforts that the government was making to decisively tackle insecurity in the state, the Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Planning, Munirah Abdullahi stressed that the state government has procured CCTV cameras to improve security in the state capital.

“The device would help the operations of the security agencies in arresting robbers and other criminal elements in the state capital,” she added.

 As of the time of filing this report, efforts made to get the reaction of the Nasarawa State Police Command proved abortive as the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ramhan Nansel, did not respond to phone calls and messages put across to his mobile lines.

The post Fear grips Nasarawa students, residents over bandits’ threat first appeared on Nigeria Newspapers Online.