Gunmen abduct Taraba University lecturer

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Gunmen have abducted a lecturer from the staff quarters of the Taraba State University in Jalingo, the state capital.

The lecturer, identified as Umar Buba and Head of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, was kidnapped in the early hours of Sunday, said Professor Vincent Ado-Tenebe who is the Vice-Chancellor of the university.

Ado-Tenebe, who visited the scene of the incident, told Channels Television that the assailants fired sporadic gunshots to displace the security officials attached to the staff quarters during the attack.

“This is a very sad story, and it has not happened in the past two to three years ago when we had our Director of Information kidnapped after which we put so many strategies on the ground to prevent ugly situations in the future.

“I am so surprised that this happened again, and I know that we have police personnel, that of NSCDC, our security outfit, and vigilante group members hired by the institution to keep the place safe and despite all of these, the former Dean of Students Affair has been kidnapped,” he said.

The vice-chancellor, however, gave an assurance that more efforts would be put in place for more security operatives to be deployed, and stressed the need for more arms and ammunition to fight the hoodlums.

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He stated that staff and students living within the confines of the school cannot challenge armed men with bare hands, noting that the management would engage concerned authorities to grant licences for staff to have their guns for their protection and that of the students.

He said, “If you have a licensed gun and you are trained, then you will be able to defend your family and the immediate community of students.

“We have grown past this, and I don’t think there is going to be any other solution than for us to apply for licencing of arms so that these bandits will know that we are equal to the task to defend the defenceless.”

Narrating how her husband was abducted, Umar’s wife, Samira, explained that they had just switched off their generator at about 12:15am when they heard a noise which they believed was a windstorm.

“When I met one of them, he asked me where my husband was, and I understood immediately that they were kidnappers. After I understood their plan, I offered myself to be taken as their target instead of my husband and I pleaded that I have a little baby whom I needed to go with and they rejected my offer, insisting that my husband was the target.

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“When they gained access … they struggled to go with him (the victim) because he resisted. We have never heard that kind of gunshot in our entire lives,” she recounted.

The victim’s wife added that shortly after the incident, some security operatives arrived at the scene and went after the kidnappers through the bush paths but found nothing but charms, alcoholic drinks, and some clothes abandoned by the gunmen.

She stated that the abductors of her husband have not made any contact with the family to know what their demands were.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in Taraba, David Misal, said the police were on the trail of the kidnappers to rescue the lecturer.

He also called on the residents to provide the police with useful information that would aid the rescue of the abducted lecturer.

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