UPDATED: 10 More Bethel Baptist Students Regain Freedom

Bandits attacked the school on July 5, 2021.

 

Ten more students abducted by bandits from the Bethel Baptist Secondary School in Kaduna State have been released.

The students regained their freedom on Saturday, after spending about 75 days in the custody of their abductors.

They were kidnapped on July 5 when a group of armed men invaded the school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

Police authorities in Kaduna have yet to make any comment on the release of the students.

But a senior official of the school told Channels Television that the students were released after an undisclosed amount of money was paid to the bandits.

He explained that following their release, the students were reunited with their parents and taken to the hospital for treatment.

 

21 Students In Captivity

A total of 121 students were forcefully taken away from their hostels when the school came under attack by the assailants.

The bandits later released 28 of them on July 25, after a ransom was reportedly paid to them.

Thereafter, 15 additional students regained freedom from the captivity of their abductors on August 22.

A file photo of a man holding a gun.

 

More students were later freed, and the release of the new batch of students on Saturday brings the total number of students who have regained freedom so far to 100.

However, 21 other students of the school are held back in the custody of the bandits.

The spate of kidnapping for ransom payment spiked recently in Kaduna, with schoolchildren as targets for bandits.

Although authorities in the state have insisted that they will neither negotiate nor pay any money to the criminals, those whose families are victims have had a contrary view.

For such people, they are ready to consider all options that can lead to the release of their loved ones, not ruling out the payment of ransom.

Kaduna is not the only state battling banditry. These criminals have also attacked schools in other parts of the North West and North Central, with Zamfara among the worst-hit states.

UNIBEN Students Continue Protest Amid Closure Of University

UNIBEN Seeks Better Funding As FG Delegation Inspects Projects
A front view photo of the UNIBEN campus.

 

Students of the University of Benin have continued with their protest for the second day to air their grievances against a recent decision of the school authorities to impose an additional N20,000 for late registration.

Following the increment, the aggrieved students had stormed the Benin-Lagos expressway in protest on Tuesday, causing gridlock on the ever-busy federal road.

They also ignored the call by the management of the school for all students to vacate the campus as the Students Union Government (SUG) is reported to have blocked the school’s entrance preventing the students from leaving the premises.

The institution’s management had ordered all students to vacate their hostels and the campus no later than 12 noon on Wednesday following what they considered to be security concerns after they (students) blocked the main gate of the school in protest.

Speaking to Channels Television, a student asked the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lilian Salami to consider their plight and reverse the decision.

READ ALSO: UNIBEN Students Block Highway, Protest Increased Late Registration Fee

“We came out today and we are telling you that we want you to take this fee back to normal,” he said.

“What we want, you know it. Take the school fees back to normal,” he said amid support from other students.

Another student of the school asked for kind consideration from the school authorities, insisting that things are tough.

She said, “It is anti-student. We all know what the situation of the economy in the country is. It is not easy for anybody, including our parents. All we are asking from our Vice-Chancellor is to be lenient with us.

“It is not as if we are not going to pay, we are going to pay.  There is no money anywhere; we are struggling to feed in school.”

Meanwhile, on arriving at the Ugbowo campus of the institution, Channels Television observed that a student had collapsed from an epileptic seizure while protesting.

73 Students Abducted From Zamfara School – Police

A combination of file photos of a policeman and guns recovered from suspects.

 

Police authorities in Zamfara have confirmed the abduction of 73 Students of Government Day Secondary School in Kaya in Maradun Local Government Area of the state.

The spokesman for the command, Mohammed Shehu, confirmed the number of students abducted in a statement on Wednesday.

“The abduction followed the invasion of the school by a large number of armed bandits that occurred today (Wednesday) at exactly 1122hrs,” he said.

“The command under the leadership of CP Ayuba N Elkanah psc+ has deployed search and rescue team that was mandated to work in synergy with the military to ensure the safe rescue of the abducted students.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records 11 COVID-19 Deaths, 582 New Cases

According to Shehu, the police have asked residents, especially parents and relatives of the abducted students to be patient and continue to pray for the success of the rescue operation.

He stated that security had been beefed up at Kaya Village to prevent a reoccurrence of the incident.

Sources in the village had told Channels Television that the assailants invaded the school in a large number and left with the students to an undisclosed location.

Disturbed by the latest abduction, the State Security Council met and deliberated on the need for further measures to tackle insecurity in the state.

At the end of the meeting, the government through the Commissioner for Information in Zamfara, Ibrahim Dosara, announced the restriction of movement of vehicles in and out of the state.

This included cars, trucks, motorbikes, and tricycles in all the local government areas of the state from Wednesday.

In Gusau local government, the restriction is to be enforced from 8pm to 6am, while it will be effective from 6pm to 6am in the remaining 13 local governments.

“Security agencies have been directed to ensure compliance with this order, please,” Dosara said in a statement.

Wednesday’s incident is the third attack on schools in Zamfara this year – coming after the incidents in the Jangebe and Bakura areas of the state.

A total of 317 students were abducted from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe during an attack in February, six months before bandits kidnapped at least 20 persons comprising students and officials from the College of Agriculture and Animal Science, Bakura.

FUTA Students Protest Death Of Colleague, Blames Institution

A file photo of the entrance gate of FUTA in Akure, Ondo State.

 

Students of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) in Ondo State staged a protest on Tuesday over the death of their colleague, Daniel Adeyinka.

Adeyinka was the 200 level student of the Department of Software Engineering at the institution who died in an auto crash on Monday.

During the demonstration to condemn his death, the visibly angry students barricaded the main road to the school and set a bonfire at the main entrance of the university.

They carried placards with various inscriptions, chanting songs to express their anger with the university management.

The protesting students described the death of Adeyinka, who died as a result of injuries sustained in the auto crash in Akure, as very unfortunate.

According to them, what angered them is that there was no ambulance to convey the victim and others involved in the accident to a hospital in Owo town.

In a chat with reporters, the President of the Students Union Government of the university, Ibiyemi Abiodun, decried in the matter in which Adeyinka died.

He wondered why there was no fuel in the ambulances of the university’s medical centre to convey the accident victims to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo for better treatment.

Efforts made to reach the university management on the incident yielded no positive result as no one was available to speak with the reporters.

But the institution later issued a statement in which it described the death of the student as unfortunate and regrettable.

It noted that the other three victims were treated and stabilized but late Adeyinka was not responding to treatment.

“The medical report from a private hospital which was brought along with him (Adeyinka) indicates that the student was clinically not responsive by 1:30am, well before they got to the health centre at about 3:20am.

“The university has ordered an immediate review of the incident in order to ascertain the circumstances leading to it,” the statement said.

VIDEO: 29 College Students Abducted In Kaduna Regain Freedom

 

The remaining 29 students abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka in Kaduna State have regained freedom.

Mr Abdullahi Usman, who is the Chairman of the Parents’ Committee, confirmed the release of the students by bandits to Channels Television on Wednesday in Kaduna.

He explained that the victims were released some minutes past 4pm around the Kidanda area in Giwa Local Government Area of the state, and were on their way back to the state capital.

Usman, however, refused to disclose the amount paid as ransom to the bandits for the release of the students.

 

55 Days Of Horror

It is freedom at last for the remaining students of the institution after 55 days of horror in the captivity of the bandits.

Some of the students rescued by soldiers alighting from a military truck at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna State on March 13, 2021.

 

Bandits stormed the school in Igabi Local Government Area very early on March 11 with the intention to abduct many students.

While they were on a mission that could be described as a silent attack, a student who sighted them raised an alarm – causing tension in the school.

Soldiers in the area promptly responded to a distress call and engaged the bandits in a fierce gunfight in a bid to thwart the attack.

The action of the security operatives led to the rescue of 180 people, comprising 132 male students, 40 female students, and eight civilian staff.

Despite the intervention, the bandits still abducted 23 female and 16 male students, leaving their parents in despair with calls on the government to rescue them.

Sadly, one of those missing was a female student, Fatima Shamaki, whose father died from a heart attack after the news of her abduction was broken to him.

The bandits had released videos in which they made some demands and threatened to kill the students should their demands were not met.

The premises of the Federal College of Forestry in Kaduna State.

 

323 Deaths In Three Months

Amid heightened calls for their release by the parents of the victims and concerned persons, the state government insisted that it would not negotiate with the bandits.

It, however, accused the armed men of killing students in the state to blackmail the government and compel it to abandon its ‘no ransom, no negotiation’ policy.

The students were later released in three batches in a space of one month – five on April 5, five on April 8, and 29 on March 5.

Banditry in Kaduna has taken a disturbing trend as the armed men killed a total of 323 people between January and March.

The first quarter security report by the government also revealed that within the period, bandits killed 292 males and 20 females, as well as kidnapped 949 people.

Kaduna Central senatorial district accounted for 236 deaths within Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Igabi, and Kajuru Local Government Areas.

ASUU, Kaduna Varsity Students Reject Increased Tuition Fees

A screengrab taken on May 2, 2021, shows the Vice Chancellor’s complex at the Kaduna State University.

 

The Kaduna State University (KASU) Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the students have rejected the proposed 500 per cent increase in tuition fees by the government.

They stated that if a monumental school fees increase was allowed to stand, it would force about 75 per cent of the university’s students to drop out of school, causing massive youth unemployment and restiveness.

ASUU Branch Chairman, Dr Peter Adamu, decried that the consequences of the upward review of the school fees would be unquantifiable.

He urged the state government to rescind the decision, stressing that it was not the best time to increase tuition fees due to the present economic instability in the country.

Adamu argued that public education should not be for revenue generation and asked the government to look for other better ways of funding the system without unleashing untold hardship on the students and their parents.

One of the students of the institution, Asmau Usman, lamented that most of them came from poor backgrounds and their parents cannot afford the increased fees.

He added that the scholarship programme of the state government cannot cater to a large number of students, saying only a few of them were beneficiaries.

On his part, the Commissioner of Education in Kaduna, Shehu Muhammad, defended the decision of the government, saying the amount being paid was no longer sustainable considering the enormous challenges of the school.

He explained that increasing the tuition fees was in line with current economic realities and not in any way aimed at unleashing suffering on the students and their parents.

Muhammad stressed that there was nowhere in the country where state universities received a token of N26,000 as school fees across the board.

He, however, hinted that the state government has created other social intervention programmes for the students, including scholarships and loan schemes among others.

The Kaduna State University has about 19,000 students population, out of which closed to 17, 000 of them are indigenes.

As a state-owned tertiary institution, the annual school fees being paid by students over the years was pegged at N26,000 across the board while the government augmented what was left.

Recently, the state government announced an increase in tuition fees in the university to enable it meet up the demands of the present situation.

According to the proposed new tuition fees, indigenous students studying social science courses are to pay about N150,000 while their counterparts in medicine and other science courses will pay between N170, 000 and above as annual fees.

Abducted Mission School Student Regains Freedom In Plateau

A signboard of The Kings School in Barkin Ladin Local Government Are of Plateau State.

 

The abducted student of Kings School, otherwise known as Capro Secondary Mission School located at Gana Ropp in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State has regained freedom, the military authorities have confirmed.

Gunmen had in the early hours of April 29 kidnapped the students in Capro, which is few kilometres away from the Yakubu Gowon airport and about 60 kilometres from Jos, the state capital.

However, three of the students escaped while one remained in captivity.

But in a statement issued on Sunday, the spokesman of Operation Safe Haven, Major Ibrahim Shittu, said troops rescued the remaining student in captivity on Saturday.

He said the rescue operation was achieved through the sustained search and rescue efforts of the troops, adding that no ransom was paid to secure the student’s release.

READ ALSO: Workers’ Day: Labour Threatens Mass Action Over Minimum Wage Law

According to the military spokesman, the rescued student is in good health condition and has since been reunited with other students in the college.

Spate of Abductions

The Plateau abduction comes as the country continues to battle several security challenges, including but not limited to an insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, secessionist agitations in the South-East and Fulani-Herdsmen crises across the Middle-Belt and several South-West states.

Bandits have, in recent times, targeted schools for mass abductions.

Several students of Greenfield University in Kaduna are still in captivity after they were abducted on April 20.

Bandits who abducted 39 students from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, in the Igabi local government area of Kaduna state recently released a video of the students, including a pregnant female student, calling for help.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday sought the assistance of the United States in fighting insecurity across the country.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday inaugurated a 40-man committee to find a solution to the country’s security challenges. The Committee is set to hold a four-day security summit in May.

 

 

 

Kogi Poly Expels Four Students For Examination Misconduct, Cultism

A file photo of a signpost at the entrance of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja.

 

The management of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja has expelled four students over issues bordering on examination misconduct and other social vices.

The Rector of the polytechnic, Dr Salisu Usman, announced this on Thursday in Lokoja, the state capital.

He noted that the decision was taken at the meeting of the institution’s Board which held on Thursday last week at the main campus of the school.

The students expelled for examination malpractice were Aliu Abdulrahman – a National Diploma (ND) I student of Science and Laboratory Technology (2019/ND/SLT/216), Shaibu Danjuma – a Higher National Diploma (HND) I student of Graphic Department (2018/HND/IDD/011), and Hadiza Abubakar – an HND II student of Computer Science Department (2018/HND/CPS/183).

Similarly, Abudulmalik Wahab of the Mechanical Engineering Department (2018/ND/ME/043) was also expelled for offences related to cultism.

Wahab, whose expulsion had a clause of never to be offered admission into the institution, was said to be in possession of a dangerous weapon with evidence of his involvement in cultism.

On the other hand, Durojaiye Taiye – an HND II student of the Industrial Design department – (2018/HND/IDD/007), was found with materials inscribed on her palms but not related to the particular examination, and was rusticated for one semester.

A file photo showing the front gate of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja.

 

The Rector, who commended the Committees on Examination Misconduct for a thorough job done, said the polytechnic would not condone any act capable of bringing it to disrepute.

He appealed to students to always be on the side of the law, saying the Board was satisfied with the successful completion of the Computer-Based Examinations for General Studies Courses.

Usman stated that the postponement of the Students Union Government (SUG) elections, Students’ Week, and other activities, was part of plans to ensure adequate security of lives and properties on campus.

He said the school’s management remained committed to making the polytechnic the best among the comity of higher institutions of learning.

At the meeting chaired by the rector, the Board also approved the results of the first-semester examination for the 2019/2020 academic session.

Those present were the Deputy Rector, Dr Kehinde Lamidi; Acting Registrar, Zubair Raji; and Acting Librarian, O. M. Audu, among others.

Kaduna Abduction: Students Still In Captivity To Regain Freedom Soon, Says El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.                                                    Photo: [email protected]

 

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has said that the state government will soon secure the freedom of the abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka in the Igabi Local Government Area.

He stated this on Wednesday while receiving five of the 39 students abducted by bandits who invaded the school on March 11.

The students were reunited with their parents after the troops rescued them on Monday.

Immediately after their release, they were taken to a military hospital for treatment and were freed to go home with their parents.

READ ALSO: Five Of 39 Abducted Kaduna Students Regain Freedom

El-Rufai, who was represented by the Commissioner for internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, assured that the remaining students and others still in captivity will be rescued in no distant time.

Earlier, El-Rufai featured on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics where he warned that anyone caught negotiating with bandits on behalf of the state government would be prosecuted.

Five of the 39 abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka arrive at the Kaduna State Government House on April 7, 2021.

 

He also reiterated the warning on April 4, noting that the government has not appointed an intermediary to negotiate with bandits on its behalf.

But the parents, in their reaction, vowed to do everything possible to get their children out of captivity, including negotiating with the bandits no matter the consequences.

The assailants stormed the school very early in the morning with the intention to abduct many students in what can be described as a silent attack.

Their operation was, however, thwarted by soldiers who promptly responded to a distress call and engaged the bandits in a fierce gunfight.

Marwa Seeks Drug Test For Politicians, Students

A photo taken on March 17, 2021, shows NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa, having a chat with Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

 

Brigadier-General Buba Marwa has called for integrity drug tests for students and politicians, especially those contesting for public offices in the country.

Marwa, who is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), made the call on Wednesday at a meeting with the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in Marina.

“Running for public offices is a big responsibility. You should not be in this important assignment for the public and your head is filled up because of drugs,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile.

The former Lagos military administrator added, “The drug scourge is now an epidemic in Nigeria. The prevalence is 15 per cent; three times the global average. One in seven Nigerians takes drugs. We have found out that there is nexus between drug use and crime.”

He commended the efforts of the state government on the issue of drug abuse in the State, describing Lagos as the first state in Nigeria in some innovative ways.

In this regard, Marwa asked the government to lead the way with the integrity drug test for students in the state.

According to him, the youths are affected most when it comes to drug abuse, making it necessary for students, especially those in tertiary institutions to take the integrity tests.

READ ALSO: FBI Received 443 Internet Crime Complaints From Nigeria In 2020 – Report

Drug enforcement agency, NDLEA, said it seized N32 billion worth of cocaine at a Lagos seaport on February 9, 2021.
(FILE) The NDLEA says it seized N32 billion worth of cocaine at a seaport in Lagos State on February 9, 2021.

 

In his remarks, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured the NDLEA chief that the government would continue to collaborate with the agency to address the scourge of drug crisis in the country.

He noted that his administration has put in place some measures, among which was building a full-fledged mental health rehabilitation hospital to tackle drug crisis in Lagos.

The governor said, “Indeed, we know that drug abuse is prevalent in our society in all forms and shapes. For us as a government, it is not something we are sweeping under the carpet; we are not denying that it is there.

“Part of the things we are doing to tackle it is to ensure that we have functional and working rehabilitation centres and we are equipping them to identify real caregivers that will take victims through the rehabilitation process.”

“Beyond that, we are actually building a full-fledged mental health rehabilitation hospital at Ketu-Ejinrin in Lagos East Senatorial District.

“This, we believe, will not only have almost 500 beds but will also have a required expertise, medical and all of the complements to ensure that different categories of treatments required are available.”

Kenya Reopens Schools After 10-Month Virus Closure

Students of Olympic Primary School wait in a line to have their temperatures measured at the entrance of the school in the early morning of the official re-opening day of public schools on January 4, 2021, in Kibera slum, Kenya, as students return to school following a nine-month closure ordered by the government in March 2020 to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
PHOTO: Gordwin ODHIAMBO / AFP

 

Millions of Kenyan pupils returned to school on Monday for the first time since classes were dismissed 10 months earlier due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mask-wearing students had their temperatures checked before entering school to repeat their lost academic year, in what was both a relief and a concern to their parents.

“As a parent, I am pleased that the children are back in school,” said mother Hildah Musimbi.

“At the moment we have got a lot of fear because we really don’t know if other children in school have the virus or even if the teachers have the virus, or even if the support staff in school have the virus.”

READ ALSO: Immigration Enforces Ban On 100 Travellers For Violating COVID-19 Protocols

Kenya shut schools in March 2020 when the new coronavirus arrived in the country and partially re-opened to select classes in October.

All primary and high school students returned on Monday, while universities and colleges were free to open and would do so on varying dates.

“We are happy to be back in school, that was a long break,” Mercy Nderi, a pupil at Kasarani Primary School in Nairobi said.

Teachers turned back students who were not wearing facemasks while struggling to maintain social distancing in crowded classrooms.

“It is difficult because we don’t have sufficient desks to ensure we keep children one metre (yard) away from each other but we are trying our best,” said Mvurya Mumbai, a headteacher at Voi Primary School.

When schools were partially re-opened in October, there was a spike in COVID-19 cases, with pupils and teachers falling ill and at least one school principal dying.

Kenya has had almost 97,000 cases and over 1,600 deaths since the start of the outbreak, with a surge in its positivity rate of up to 20 percent in October decreasing to below five percent in the past week.

“The turnout is good and as you have seen, apart from crowding, all students are wearing their masks and teachers are ready to teach so let us support them,” Education Minister George Magoha said when he toured Olympic Primary School in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, the largest in the country with 4,700 pupils.

“There is no reason why parents should fail to send children to school,” he said.

“We have put in place adequate safety measures but they need to ensure they give them masks.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta this weekend extended a 10:00 pm to 4:00 am curfew until March 12.

Kenyans have been under some form of nighttime curfew since March 25 last year, when they were ordered to stay indoors from 7:00 pm. In July this was moved back to 9:00 pm and in September to 11:00 pm, before being taken back to 10:00 pm in November as cases soared.

AFP

WAEC To Bar Students, Deregister Schools To Curb Examination Malpractice

Female Candidates Outshine Male As WAEC Withholds 180,205 Results
A file photo of WAEC logo.

 

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has approved stringent sanctions against candidates, supervisors, and schools involved in examination malpractice.

A statement from the acting Head of Public Affairs at the WAEC office in Yaba, Demianus Ojijeogu, noted that the approval was made at the 70th meeting of the Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) of the council held from Thursday to Saturday last week in Lagos.

In the course of considering the various reported cases of malpractice and after diligent deliberations, the committee approved appropriate sanctions in all established cases of malpractice, as prescribed by the Rules and Regulations governing the conduct of WAEC examinations.

It approved that the entire results of candidates involved in proven cases, which attracted Cancellation of Entire Results (CER), be cancelled, while subject results of those involved in proven cases, which attracted Cancellation of Subject Results (CSR), be also cancelled.

According to the council, some candidates will suffer other sanctions such as barring them from sitting for the WAEC examinations for a certain number of years, and some schools will be derecognised for a specified number of years or have their recognition completely withdrawn.

It added that supervisors found wanting in the discharge of their examination duties would be formally reported to their employers and blacklisted while some invigilators would be reported to the appropriate authorities for disciplinary action.

“The decisions of the committee will be implemented without delay and the affected candidates and schools duly informed by the Council.

“However, the results of candidates who were exonerated by the committee would be released,” the statement said.

The committee, which is the highest decision-making organ of WAEC on examination-related matters in Nigeria, meets twice a year to consider matters relating to the conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates and private candidates.

Its statutory Chairman is the Chief Government Nominee on Council and Director of Basic and Secondary Education in the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.

At the meeting, the committee also considered special cases, clemency appeals from WASSCE for school candidates in 2020, and restitution cases for various years.

It received a report on the statistics of entries and results for WASSCE for private candidates (2019-second series), and WASSCE for private candidates (2020-first series).