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: July 11, 2021

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Zamfara College of Agriculture and Animal Science

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 11, 2021, armed militia members kidnapped Zamfara College of Agriculture and Animal Sciences Provost Habibu Bukullu.

According to a family member of Bukullu, several persons entered the college’s premises around 2 AM local time. Bukullu was kidnapped from his on-campus residence along with two others. There was no evidence of violence, and witnesses say that no gunshots were fired. 

Following the incident, local police confirmed that they had deployed forces to investigate the matter and ensure Bukullu’s release. On July 14, Bukullu’s brother confirmed that he had been released. It is unclear whether a ransom was paid.

The July 11 incident appears to fit a pattern of acts targeting schools and universities in Nigeria, where gunmen and “bandits” have raided campuses and kidnapped students and faculty, often seeking ransom. 

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the abduction of a staff member of a higher education institution. State authorities have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of students and staff, 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, and institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.

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