Richard Ginika Izuora
The Abia Government has confirmed the abduction of some students of the Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu Okigwe by gunmen.
The Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief Okiyi Kalu, confirmed the incident in a statement in Umuahia on Thursday, May 6.
Kalu stated that the government had yet to ascertain the number and identity of the affected students, adding that two students escaped from the attack.
The statement added that the victims were returning to the campus in a mini-bus between 7 pm and 8 pm when the vehicle ran into the hoodlums.
According to the Commissioner, the armed gang marched the victims into the nearby forest; along with other commuters in the bus.
“Two of the students managed to escape from the hoodlums; while others are still being held at a yet-to-be-identified location.
“We are working with the government of Imo and relevant security agencies in both states to ensure the rescue of the abducted students and others.
“Members of the public and university community are advised to remain calm; as we will spare no resources in ensuring the safety of the victims.
“No criminal operating within our environment will be allowed to escape justice; as we take the job of protecting lives and property of Abia residents and visitors very seriously,” Kalu stated.
Meanwhile, former Governor of the State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has condemned the incident.
Kalu who is Chief Whip of the Senate tasked security agencies to ensure the swift rescue of students of the students.
Kalu described the incident as devastating and evil.
He commended Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Hope Uzodinma of Imo for their efforts toward rescuing the victims from the criminals.
He called on the residents of Abia and Imo states to be vigilant; steadfast and peaceful, stressing that the safe release of the abducted students remained paramount.
Also, Kalu tasked government at all levels to work harmoniously in ensuring the prompt and safe release of the abducted students
“The abduction of students of Abia State University by unidentified hoodlums along the Okigwe-Uturu Road is totally condemnable. The students are the future leaders and as such they don’t deserve to go through this pain.
“I am touched and unhappy. All hands must be on deck to secure the release of the abducted students.
“We must join hands with security agencies in exposing the perpetrators of evil acts in society. I applaud the governors of Abia and Imo states for working closely with other stakeholders in a bid to ensure the safe release of the abducted students,’’ Kalu said.
He advised the ABSU community to be calm and optimistic; adding that the fight against kidnapping and other vices were the collective responsibility of all levels of government; regardless of political affiliation.