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 09, 2024

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Confluence University of Science and Technology

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On May 9, 2024, unknown gunmen abducted more than 20 students from their classrooms at the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH).

The Kogi Police Public Relations Office stated that 14 of the kidnapped students were rescued four days later, on May 12, and another six students were rescued on May 14; at least 4 more students are still missing.

This incident appears to fit a pattern of attacks and kidnappings targeting schools and universities in Nigeria. Sources have frequently described groups of “bandits” kidnapping students and staff in pursuit of ransom.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the abduction of higher education students. 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 victim, kidnappings that target members of the higher education community undermine the conditions needed for the meaningful exercise of the right to education and academic freedom.

Sources:
https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/gunmen-kidnap-nine-students-nigerian-university-2024-05-10/
https://www.channelstv.com/2024/05/10/bandits-attack-varsity-in-kogi-abduct-students/
https://www.channelstv.com/2024/05/12/some-abducted-confluence-university-students-rescued-kogi-govt/
https://guardian.ng/news/abducted-students-of-kogi-confluence-university-regain-freedom/
https://www.europapress.es/internacional/noticia-liberados-varios-estudiantes-universitarios-secuestrados-semana-pasada-centro-nigeria-20240513143335.html
https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20240517075511933
https://pmnewsnigeria.com/2024/05/14/kogi-govt-confirms-rescue-of-6-more-abducted-varsity-students/