From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
An unspecified number of students of the Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU) have been abducted by gunmen.
Abia State Commissioner for Information, John Kalu, confirmed the abduction, yesterday.
He said the students, who were in a commercial bus, were ambushed and abducted along Okigwe-Uturu road, around 8pm, on Wednesday.
In a statement, yesterday, Kalu said the bus ran into the gunmen while they were operating on the road and that two of the students escaped from their clutches.
He added that the state government was monitoring the incident and working with security agencies, to ensure the safe rescue of the victims.
“Preliminary information available to us indicates that the students were moving in a mini van from Okigwe to Uturu between 7pm – 8pm, when they ran into the armed gang who marched them into the nearby forest, along with other yet-to-be-identified travellers,” the statement read.
“Two of the students managed to escape from the hoodlums, while others are still being held at a yet-to-be-identified location.
“We are working with the government of Imo State and relevant security agencies in both states to ensure the rescue of the abducted students and others.
“Members of the public and ABSU community are advised to remain calm, as we will spare no resource in ensuring the safety of the victims.”
Meanwhile, former governor of Abia and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Kalu, has called on security agencies to ensure the safe rescue of the abducted students.
Describing the ugly incident as devastating and evil, Kalu commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, for their efforts to rescue the victims from the criminals.
He said: “The abduction of students of Abia State University (ABSU) by unidentified hoodlums along Okigwe-Uturu road is totally condemnable.
“The students are the future leaders of tomorrow and, as such, they don’t deserve to go through this pain. I am touched and unhappy.
“All hands must be on deck to secure the release of the abducted students. We must join hands with security agencies in exposing the perpetrators of evil acts in the society.
“I applaud the governors of Abia and Imo for working closely with other stakeholders, in a bid to ensure the safe release of the abducted students.”
Kalu called on the ABSU community to be calm and optimistic, adding that the fight against kidnapping and other vices is the collective responsibility of all levels of government, regardless of political affiliation.