The 42 people, including 27 children, kidnapped ten days ago from a school in west-central Nigeria, have been released, local authorities said on Saturday (February 27th).
On the night of February 16 – 17th armed men attacked the Kagara public secondary school, killing a student and taking with them 27 students, 3 teachers, and 12 family members of staff.
The “bandits”, as the authorities call them, terrorize local populations, carry out mass kidnappings for ransom, now abduct children from schools, loot villages and steal livestock.
317 students kidnapped on Friday
On Friday, February 26th, 317 young girls attending school in Zamfara state, further north, were also abducted from their dormitories. A rescue operation is underway, made up of security forces, but also angry villagers. The president, Muhammadu Buhari, much criticized for his management of the catastrophic security situation in northern Nigeria, assured Friday evening that he would not “give in to the blackmail” of the bandits.
With each new mass kidnapping, the authorities, federal and local, claim to pay no ransom to the kidnappers for the release of the hostages, which is unlikely in the eyes of security experts, who fear that this mode of kidnappings will multiply in the region.
These criminal gangs are motivated by greed, and some have forged strong links with jihadist groups present in the northeast. This violence has seen more than 8,000 people killed since 2011, and forced more than 200,000 people to flee their homes, according to a report by the International Crisis Group think tank, published back in May 2020.