But for the quick intervention of security operatives, another set of 307 students in Kaduna State would have become the latest victims of bandits/kidnappers.
The bandits stormed the Government Science Secondary School, Ikara in kara Local Government Area in the late hours of Saturday but were outsmarted by the pupils who “utilised the security warning system” in the college
Another group of bandits had also at the weekend failed in their bid to attack a Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) quarters near the Kaduna International Airport.
Thirty nine students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Afaka, Kaduna have yet to be rescued from bandits who seized them last Thursday. 180 other students were saved by the military in the vicinity of the forestry college..
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the developments to reporters Sunday afternoon.
Aruwan clarified that all the 307 students have been verified safe and present in the school after the botched kidnap attack.
He said “Between the late hours of Saturday night and the early hours of today (Sunday), suspected bandits stormed the Government Science Secondary School, Ikara, Ikara LGA in an attempt to kidnap students.
“Fortunately, the students utilised the security warning system in place, and were thus able to alert security forces in the area. The security forces comprising the troops of the Nigerian Army, Police and some security volunteers moved swiftly to the school and engaged the bandits, forcing them to flee.
“The military and police are still on trail of the armed bandits.
“Following a headcount by the school management, the Kaduna State Government can confirm to you that all 307 students have been verified safe and present.
“The attempted kidnap was foiled completely and no student was taken from the school.
“The images provided by the Nigerian Army can attest to this, and will be shared.”
The attempted attack on the FAAN staff quarters at Ifira village, Igabi LGA was however not without a gun battle between the bandits and military personnel.
This is coming barely two weeks a similar attempt was made with the kidnap of about 13 persons including a NiMET staff member and NAMA workers with his entire family.
A source said the bandits gained access into the quarters through porous sections of the airport airside leading to Runway 23 / 05.
On entering the quarters, they reportedly headed straight for their alleged targets’ apartments, flashing touch lights.
But, a distress call prompted the intervention of the military which engaged the bandits in a gun duel forcing them to flee.
It was gathered that some apprehensive FAAN started leaving the quarters for safe places outside the airport environment.
The Managing Director FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, had while commenting on the earlier attack, said, efforts were on with security agencies and the state government to adequately secure the environment.
He said:” The last bandit attack did not happen around the airport. It is a thing that happened around our staff quarters. If there is a need to close the airport, it would be close it.”
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, also spoke with reporters on the FAAN quarters incident.
He said: “This attempt was also foiled as troops of the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Army engaged and repelled them, with several escaping with gunshot wounds.”
The commissioner expressed the appreciation of the state government to the “security agencies in the recent rescue of 180 students in the vicinity of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka.
He said: “By virtue of access to the facts of the event, the state government extends its unequivocal solidarity to the military, police, Department of State Services, and other security agencies, whose swift intervention prevented the bandits from abducting more persons.
“The government maintains a clear focus at this time, and that is to ensure the safe return of the missing students and to consolidate intelligence gathering and security vigilance towards forestalling possible attempts on other facilities or institutions.
“As a government, our focus is on getting back our missing students and preventing further episodes of school abductions. We will continue to provide updates as further information becomes available.”