SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: May 30, 2021

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Taraba State University

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On May 30, 2021, gunmen raided Taraba State University (TSU) and kidnapped Professor Umar Buba.

Buba is the head of the Faculty of Agriculture and former Dean of Student Affairs. At around midnight, the gunmen raided TSU’s campus and fired gunshots in an apparent attempt to disperse security guards. The gunmen reportedly entered the staff residence and found Buba after asking his spouse where he was. On June 3, Buba was released.

The May 30 incident appears to fit a pattern of attacks and kidnappings targeting schools and universities in Nigeria (see here).

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the abduction of a faculty member of a higher education institution. State authorities have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of members of the higher education community, including by investigating and holding perpetrators of such acts accountable. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, abductions of members of the higher education community undermine academic freedom, the right to education, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).