Students abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna have called for help in a disturbing video.
The abducted students were seen being beaten by their captors, as they pleaded with the government to rescue them.
They were seen huddled together and sitting on tree leaves, with gun-wielding men, some of them dressed in military uniform, keeping watch over them.
The Kaduna State Government had put the number of those abducted at 39.
Meanwhile, security forces said they have stepped up efforts to rescue the college students.
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed an early end to the hostage crisis.
Gunmen abducted the 39 students from their hostels in northwestern Kaduna state late Thursday, the latest in a series of such attacks.
The military managed to rescue 180 others after a fierce battle at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Mando at the outskirts of the state capital, Kaduna city.
“A combined team of police, army and other security forces are in a frantic search for the kidnapped students,” state police spokesman Mohammadu Jalinge said.
“We are combing the surrounding forests and bushes with a view to freeing the hostages. Very soon, it will be over for the bandits.”
The gunmen had not made contacts with the authorities, he added.
State commissioner for internal security Samuel Aruwan said: “An operation for the students’ rescue is underway by security personnel from the army, air force, police and DSS (secret police).”
The Kaduna college targetted in the attack is reported to have some 300 male and female students — mostly aged 17 or older.
Distraught parents, relatives and sympathisers have been arriving at the school for news.