On February 1, 2022, Zamfara militiamen reportedly entered the home of Abdurrahman Adamu, the chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities for the Federal University Gusau, and abducted five of his family members, as well as another university staff member who lived nearby. Adamu, who was not home at the time, was not abducted. The following day, a group reportedly demanded a ransom for the release of Adamu’s family members and neighbor. Available public reporting does not reflect the resolution of the case, if any.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the targeting and abduction of higher education community members and their families. State authorities should take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of scholars, students, and staff, including by investigating and holding perpetrators of such acts responsible, in line with international human rights standards. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, patterns of abductions targeting members of the higher education system undermine the conditions needed for the meaningful exercise of the right to education and academic freedom.
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).