105 Students of College of Education (Technical) Gusau, Zamfara State, Tuesday night at Bida, Niger State escaped being abducted by gunmen in police uniform.
The armed robbers, hijacked the two buses conveying the students on excursion to Kanji dam in Niger State.
Three of the students were brutally raped by the bandits while many of them, including their teachers sustained varying degree of injuries. The students were on educational excursion to Kainji Dam when they were accosted by the hoodlums at about 1am.
The students were riding in two buses on an educational excursion from Gusau to the Kainji Dam and accompanied by four staff of the institution. There was no security escort with them when they suddenly ran into a gang of armed men in police uniform at about 1.am.
It was gathered that, on their way, about 13 kilometers to Bida in Niger State, close to Iyaso Farm, the bandits abruptly forced one of the buses conveying 33 of the female students to a halt and robbed them of their belongings, before raping some of them.
It was learnt that most of the students sustained varying degrees of injuries during the attack, especially, three of the victims who were among the raped victims.
The injured, according to sources, were taken to the Sanda Ndayako Hospital in Bida for treatment. Complaint on the incident was lodged at the Lemu police station at about 12.pm on the same day, by one Ibrahim Salisu Bida, one of the staff of the institution who accompanied the students on the ill-fated journey.
It was further gathered that the staff and students aborted the trip and returned to Gusau after those who sustained injuries were treated and discharged. A witness, who told our correspondent that most of the students were raped after being dispossessed of their valuables, however, expressed gratitude to God that the bandits did not opt to abduct their victims for whatever purpose.
Confirming the incident, the State police command said information at its disposal indicated that only three girls were raped by the bandits.
Spokesman for the command, ASP Bala Elkana, however, described as un- fortunate, the decision of authorities of the institution to permit the students on a night trip without providing adequate police protection.
“It is very unfortunate that 105 female students would be allowed to embark on a night journey without police escort; it is unthinkable, considering the present security challenges facing the nation. The incident happened at about 1.am, but we thank God that all the girls are back to their school.
“They had left before we got there; when we arrived the scene, what we saw were wooden guns used by the bandits to intimidate their victims to submission before robbing them of their valuables. Reports at our disposal indicated that three of the girls were raped. However, we are presently combing the bushes in the surrounding villages to see if we can arrest the perpetrators,” Elkana said.