NSA Receives 22 Rescued Zamfara Varsity Students, Staff

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, on Monday received 22 abduct­ed students and staff of Federal University, Gusau in Zamfara, who were rescued on Sunday.

The 22 people, comprising 15 students and seven workers of the university, were abducted from the university in Septem­ber 2023.

According to the NSA, the rescue operation was coordi­nated by the National Count­er-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) on Sunday.\

Ribadu who received the rescued victims on Monday in Abuja, urged them not to allow their experience to break them, but should rather make them stronger.

The NSA also thanked the parents of the rescued victims for their patience and under­standing during the period, and commended security agencies for their tireless work and sac­rifices.

“On behalf of the president, I thank all those involved in the successful rescue of the victims without losing anyone of them or paying any ransom.

“This is yet again a success story in our efforts to free all those being unlawfully held in captivity.

“We have so far released over a thousand of such victims without noise and in complete respect to their privacy and safety.

“This occasion marks a final juncture in a series of rescues we have undertaken in the last few months, to free victims of recent cases of mass abductions.

“Going forward, we are strengthening law enforce­ment and security measures to prevent these abductions, and strengthen physical security across vulnerable communi­ties,” he said.

Earlier, the National Coordi­nator, NCTC, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Laka, recalled that those res­cued were abducted from the school on Sept. 22, 2023 at about 0230hrs.

Laka said bandits armed with various weapons attacked three off-campus students’ hos­tels at Sabon Gida in Gusau, and kidnapped a number of female students alongside some male artisans.

Others, he said, were a pri­vate security guard and a proto­col officer of the university.

He added that the bandits ransacked the hostels, carted away foodstuffs, mobile phones, laptops, ATM cards, cash and other valuables.

According to him, the ab­ductees were subsequently herded on motorcycles and foot to a location through a town in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara.

“Search and rescue was con­ducted by a combined team of law enforcement agencies and the abductees were subsequent­ly released in three batches, after 207 days in captivity.

“The first batch was rescued on March 15 while the second batch was rescued on April 12 and the last batch rescued on April 14.

“All the abductees were pro­filed at NCTC while the ONSA Medical Team examined them and administered minor treat­ments on the bruises sustained by 3 of the abductees.

“Four of them were diag­nosed of malaria and are being treated. None of the females was molested and all the females test­ed negative to pregnancy test,” he said.

One of the rescued victims, Hafsat Ibrahim, thanked God and the government for ensur­ing their safe return after 207 days in captivity.

Representative of Zamfara government, Mr. Ibrahim Anka, commended the efforts of the NSA in coordinating the mil­itary and security operations that ensured the safe rescue of the victims.

Anka also commended the Federal Government for the efforts and recent positive im­provement in security in the state.

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