Four days after the attack and abduction of 42 students, staff and their relatives at Government Science College in Kagara, Rafi Council of Niger State by armed bandits, the town remained in confusion.
When The Guardian visited the sleepy agrarian community yesterday, rumours of the release of the abductees added to the apprehension and anxiety of parents and relatives, who seemed confused as to whether to believe the cheering rumour or its denial by the state government. But they remain optimistic, hoping that sooner than later; their loved ones would breathe the air of freedom.
Meanwhile, some residents close to the school have since deserted their homes for fear of the unknown. However, normal activities were gradually picking up in some parts of the town in the midst of heavy security presence, and one can only imagine what becomes of it at nightfall.
Some residents who volunteered to speak recalled that the bandits, in military uniform, stormed the school about 2 am in their large numbers, shooting into the air to scare off the students and nearby inhabitants.
Mallam Mohammadu Isa, an indigene, lamented that bandits carried out the attack for several hours unchallenged, describing the incident as sad and most unfortunate.
He recalled the abduction of over 20 passengers in a bus belonging to the state transport service returning from Kontagora last Sunday, saying the government ought to have put necessary measures in place to forestall reoccurrence.
Also speaking, a farmer, Mahmud Garba, said farmers in the area have abandoned their farms due to security threats, adding that their lives are not safe any more.He expressed fears that prizes of foodstuffs might escalate as a result of banditry in the area and appealed to relevant security agencies to protect the lives and properties of the vulnerable. (Guardian)