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: June 10, 2021

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 10, 2021, gunmen raided Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, kidnapping eight students and two university faculty, and killing one student.

The raid reportedly took place after 9:30 PM. The gunmen, who yet to be identified, infiltrated the staff quarters at the university and began shooting sporadically. According to the spokesperson of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), three students were shot. Two students sustained injuries, and one died in the hospital from a gunshot wound.

The gunmen kidnapped two professors and eight students. As of June 11, the whereabouts of the abducted students and faculty remain unknown.

The June 10 incident appears to fit a pattern of attacks and kidnappings targeting schools and universities in the northern region of Nigeria. Sources have frequently described groups of “bandits” kidnapping students and staff in pursuit of a seeking ransom (see reports here and here).

Scholars at Risk is concerned about a violent raid on a higher education institution, the killing of a student, and the abduction of students. SAR further offers condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased student as well as the families of students who have been abducted. State authorities have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of students, including by investigating and holding perpetrators of such acts responsible. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such incidents undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.

UPDATE: On July 8, six students and two faculty members were released after a ransom was paid.