A group of unknown gunmen has abducted seven students of the Abia State University Uturu (ABSU), Naija News reports.
The incident was said to have happened along the Okigwe/Uturu road when the bus they boarded was ambushed on Thursday, March 31.
According to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the university, two of the victims have been identified as Mejeh Emmanuel and Divine Nwachukwu, both medical students.
Confirming the incident, the spokesperson of the Police Command in Abia, Geoffrey Ogbonna, on Sunday, disclosed that the number of students kidnapped totals seven, saying that they have not been freed.
He explained that joint efforts of two state police commands were needed because the kidnap incident occurred at the axis of the road located in Imo State while the victims are students of Abia State-owned institution.
“Abia State and Imo State commands are on the matter. The students are from Abia and from what I heard, they are about seven in number,” he said.
Speaking on the development, the Vice-chancellor of ABSU, Prof, Onyemachi Ogbulu, confirmed that the kidnappers have already made contact and requested ransom before the students could be freed.
According to him, the abductors had contacted him on Friday and demanded N10 million for each of the students, but 24 hours later they reduced the ransom to N2 million each.
The ABSU VC expressed his frustration with the security agencies, saying that the institution is tired of hearing about frequent kidnappings of its students in spite of the heavy presence of security agents along the road leading to the campus.
“There are more than six security checkpoints between Okigwe and ABSU, yet, every now and then, this happens and nobody has been arrested,” he lamented.
He noted that it is hard to understand why the kidnapping of students should persist “in spite of the presence of all the security agents, the army, the police, the mobile Police.”
Prof Ogbulu said that students had been warned by the school authorities “to stop going about in the night” but to no avail.