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Abducted UNICAL students regain freedom hours to exams

The VC pleaded that the security agencies maintain their presence on campus as the school begins exams.

• July 11, 2021
A photo of UNICAL VC used to illustrate the story[Photo credit:The Guardian Nigeria]

Two kidnapped students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have regained their freedom after 10 days in captivity.

The students, Ikpi Okoi-Itam and Vincent Adomi-Okorafor were kidnapped on July 1 on-campus and released on Sunday in the creeks of Calabar South.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Florence Obi, said that their release had brought much relief to the university community and empathised with them over the traumatic period they went through at the hands of their abductors.

“I am very happy that they were released safely.

They have been traumatised and psychologically battered, but I am happy that they are back alive.

“It has been a traumatic period for their colleagues, family and the university community.

“It is a sad situation because kidnapping of students is further bringing down the educational sector in the country.

The kidnapping of students is not good for the educational system.

“They just came back from the hospital where they underwent a medical test.

“Examination is starting tomorrow for Law students, but for these two who were kidnapped and released, we have to give them some time to recuperate before giving them their examination,” she said.

The VC commended the security agencies, adding that their collaboration was fruitful and made the release of the students possible.

“I want to use this opportunity to commend them and further plead that as we start our examination they maintain their presence on campus.

“I want to also plead with Governor Ben Ayade to come to our aid by deploying officials of the state security outfit, Operation Akpakwu, to the university to help us enhance our security,” she said.

One of the released students, Mr Adomi-Okorafor, described the period they spent in captivity as “traumatic and devastating.”

He said they were kidnapped on campus on the morning of July 1 while they were preparing for a test.

“The kidnappers were unkind to us.

They tortured us and made us go through hell for 11 days. But I am happy today that I am seeing the light and interacting with people.

“They took us through the creeks to their camp. It was a painful experience that we went through.

“I want to thank the VC and security agencies for their tireless efforts that ensured our release.

I also want to advice the school management to scale up security network on campus,” he said. 

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