Two of the Abia State University students who were abducted on Wednesday evening have escaped from their abductors, the Commissioner for Information in the state, John Kalu, has said.
The students were abducted inside a commercial vehicle along a highway in Okigwe, Imo State.
Mr Kalu told newsmen, Thursday evening, that only one student was being held captive by the abductors, from the information available to the Abia State Government.
“What I can tell you is that two of the students escaped. At this time, we only have confirmation of one student in custody of the hoodlums,” Mr Kalu said.
“Two of the students – two girls – escaped. One escaped from inside the jungle where they took them to, while the other escaped at the point of interception, where they were taken.
“We have heard from the girl that escaped at the point of interception,” he added.
The commissioner said the abductors have made contact with the parent of the female student who is in their custody.
He said, “I have spoken to the parents of the girl, I have spoken to the fiancée of the girl, we are doing everything to ensure her release.”
It will be recalled that earlier, the Abia state Government had reportedly intensified efforts to ensure the safe return of students of Abia State University Uturu, ABSU, reportedly abducted by unknown armed men.
The incident according to reports occurred Wednesday night as the students were in a commercial bus returning from Okigwe to Uturu around 8:00 pm.
Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu who gave the assurance in a press release said the state government was collaborating with the neighbouring Imo State to rescue and students.
Kalu said in the statement: ”Abia State Government is currently monitoring an incident that happened in Okigwe, Imo State, yesterday(Wednesday), which led to the suspected abduction of yet to be determined number of students of the Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU), who apparently ran into a yet to be identified gang of hoodlums operating along the Okigwe-Uturu Road.
“Preliminary information available to us indicates that the students were moving in a mini van from Okigwe to Uturu between 7pm – 8pm when they ran into the armed gang who marched them into the nearby forest along with other yet to be identified travelers. Two of the students managed to escape from the hoodlums while others are still being held at a yet to be identified location.
“We are working with the government of Imo State and relevant security agencies in both states to ensure the rescue of the abducted students and others.
“Members of the public and ABSU community are advised to remain calm as we will spare no resource in ensuring the safety of the victims.
“No criminal operating within our environment will be allowed to escape justice as we take the job of protecting lives and property of Abians and visitors to the State very seriously.”
Abia State University is situated in a boundary community between Abia and Imo States.