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 23, 2023

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Abia State University

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 23, 2023, unidentified armed attackers kidnapped the driver of Abia State University’s (ABSU) bursar.

The gunmen followed the bursar’s car from the ABSU campus and fired on the driver. When the attackers entered the vehicle and learned that the bursar was not in the vehicle, they kidnapped the driver. At the time, the bursar was in Umuahia city, waiting to be picked up by the driver. The motive for the attack is unknown.

As of writing this report, it is unknown if the driver has been released.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about an apparently targeted attack on a university administrator and the abduction of a university staff member. State authorities should take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to such attacks, including by holding perpetrators accountable, in accordance with international human rights standards. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, violent, targeted attacks on university staff undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.

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