An unknown number of students of Abia State University, Uturu, were abducted by gunmen on Wednesday night.
The students were taken hostage while travelling in a bus along Okigwe-Uturu Road.
Commissioner for Information in the state, John Kalu, confirmed the incident in a statement on Thursday.
“Preliminary information available to us showed that the students were moving in a minivan from Okigwe to Uturu between 7 pm and 8 pm when they ran into the armed gang who marched them into the nearby forest along with other yet-to-be-identified travellers.
“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,” he said.
“No criminal operating within our environment will be allowed to escape justice as we take the job of protecting the lives and property of Abians and visitors to the state very seriously,” the commissioner added.
Our correspondent reports that families of the abducted students were in distress and earnestly waiting to hear from the abductors.
“Nobody can tell whether our children are even alive or not because their abductors have not said anything yet,” one of the parents said.
“This is a trying moment for us and we are appealing to governments at the state and federal level to act fast,” another parent said.