The rescue of 300 Nigerian boys in Katsina, Nigeria, was highlighted in a previous post. Unfortunately, similar incidents continue to occur throughout the country.
Kidnappings by gunmen, often referred to as “bandits,” have become commonplace in northern and central Nigeria. Since last December, at least ten institutions have been hit by kidnappers who’ve taken over 1,000 students and staff for ransom.
According to Reuters, bandits attacked the main campus of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic in Kaduna, Nigeria, on June 10th, kidnapping ten students and two staff members. Six of those students and two officials have returned as of July 9th.
Another kidnapping occurred on July 5th, when gunmen abducted 121 students at Bethel Baptist High School in northwestern Kaduna State. The bandits came while the students were sleeping in their dorms, and they asked the institution for food and ransom money to free them. 28 of those students have been released and reunited with their parents, and Kaduna authorities have demanded the closure of schools in the area following the attack.
A senior official at Bethel Baptist High School, Joseph Hayab, advised the following:
“The bandits released them yesterday (Saturday) and we were able to send out church buses to go to where the captors dropped them to pick them up.”
“Five children escaped on July 21 but only two were found by the police. The other three made it to the school on their own.”
“They escaped from the bandits when they were sent to collect firewood for cooking.”
“The bandits released a student two weeks ago on health grounds.”
“As a leader, I will be lying if I say there was no money involved but I will not be able to tell you how much was given.”
“The most important thing now is to get all the remaining children released.”
One of the released students, a 14-year-old named Precious, spent 21 days with the armed kidnappers. Her mother, Esther Joseph, stated the following:
“To walk is a problem, to talk is a problem… if she happened to sit down, she will just be afraid and shivering.”
“She is remembering those guns the kidnappers used to shoot while in the bush to scare them.”
“Up until now she is still in fear.”
Several other students escaped, but 80 or so are still being held captive. Hopefully, the country’s government will take drastic action for the remaining.
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: African Insider
Muhammad, G. (2021, July 10). Kidnapped Nigerian students freed after ransom paid – school, parent. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/kidnapped-nigerian-students-freed-after-ransom-paid-school-parent-2021-07-09/.
Kidnappers release another 28 abducted children in Nigeria. Aljazeera. (2021, July 25). https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/25/kidnappers-release-another-28-abducted-children-in-nigeria.
Nigerian girl struggles to recover after kidnap ordeal. Africa News. (2021, July 28). https://www.africanews.com/2021/07/28/nigerian-girl-struggles-to-recover-after-kidnap-ordeal/.