Nigeria in recent years has experienced increasing abductions of school children. Thousands of school students have been kidnaped with the government being blamed for not providing the security much needed by the country.in may this year, Kidnappers raided a boarding school in northern Nigeria. State authorities have confirmed the release of 136 students from the school in Tegina, Niger state who were seized by gunmen demanding a ransom.
According to the head teacher, a small number of the students managed to escape in June. Sadly, unconfirmed reports suggest that six of the students died in captivity. The Mass abductions for ransom have become increasingly common across Nigeria in recent months.
Head teacher of the affected school, Abubakar Alhassan said he could not give an exact number of how many students had been freed, but “none of the pupils are in captivity”. Mass school kidnapping since December have continuously happened in northwest Nigeria, which authorities have attributed to criminal gangs seeking ransom payments.
The freed students were looking unhealthy, frail and extremely exhausted. All the released are now being treated in hospital in the state capital, Minna.
Last month, many parents in solidarity and the school overwhelmingly raised funds to free the pupils but unfortunately the kidnappers told them that it was not enough. Mr Alhassan said that they then paid more money and even bought motorcycles for those behind the mass abduction to convince them to release the children,
On 30 May, gunmen riding on motorcycles stormed the town and opened fire, killing one person and injuring another. As people fled, the attackers went to the school and seized the children.
In July, kidnappers seized a man who was sent to deliver a ransom payment to secure the students’ release. Parents and school administrators had sold possessions and part of the school’s land to pay the ransom. But they later said they wanted more money.
More than 1,000 students have been abducted from schools across northern Nigeria since December last year, although most have since been freed after ransom heavily paid.
Authorities there have been criticized by citizens and diplomatic agencies for their failure to tackle the country’s widespread insecurity including the deepening kidnapping crisis. Many say, similar events continue to happen but the Nigerian authorities continue to pay a deaf ear for a formidable solution.
Over the years, many Schools have become targets for mass kidnappings for ransom in northern Nigeria by armed groups. Such kidnappings in Nigeria were first carried out by jihadist group Boko Haram, and later its offshoot Islamic State West Africa Province, but the tactic has now been adopted by other criminal gangs.
No solution has yet been found and not any commitments from government authorities in Nigeria to protect the school going students from the islamists abductions.
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