Tension In Kaduna As Bandits Kidnap Over 280 Pupils

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File photo: Bandits

Tension in Kaduna as bandits have reportedly abducted over 280 pupils of Government Secondary School and LEA primary school at Kuriga community area  of the state, The Herald reports.

The police authorities and the Kaduna State government are yet to confirm the incident but a local source revealed that the bandits invaded the school at 8:30 am on Thursday, and took away many pupils including the head teacher.

He said that many students sustained injuries as they attempted to flee the school on sighting the bandits.

Bandit attacks in the North-West part of the country have been on the increase in recent times, with residents taking to the streets to protest the ugly trend.

On Tuesday, residents of the Kankara Local Government Area in Katsina State embarked on yet another protest over the incessant bandit attacks in their community.

The abduction of schoolchildren in Nigeria has reached an alarming rate with insurgents profiting from the menace, as they collect ransom to the tune of hundreds of millions to release abducted children.

Recently, some pupils and staff members of Apostolic Faith School in Ekiti State were abducted on January 29, 2024, from their school bus. They were heading to Emure-Ekiti when assailants intercepted them at Eporo-Ekiti. They later regained freedom about a week later when the driver of the bus was found dead.

The abduction of the Ekiti pupils was not the first in the series of kidnappings of schoolchildren in the country.

From Chibok to Dapchi, Kankara, Kagara, and many others in Kaduna, terrorists have in the last years seized thousands of schoolchildren in mass kidnappings that attracted global outrage.

While some of the students eventually regain freedom, others have been perpetually detained in the enclaves of their abductors and sexual abusers.

Gov. Assures Residents

Addressing the community members during his visit to the scene of the attack, the governor said his government would ensure that the abducted pupils returned unhurt. He said, “In my capacity as your elected governor, I am assuring you that by the grace of God, all the children will return unhurt.

“Before coming here, I spoke with the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and we are making efforts, the security forces have swung into action, and by God’s grace, we will rescue the children.’’

JNI, Amnesty International React

But the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abukakar lll, described the abduction as unfortunate.

The JNI Secretary-General, Prof Khalid Abukakar-Aliyu, said the abduction appeared to be an attempt by non-state actors to undermine the efforts of the government to tackle insecurity in the country.

He urged the security agencies to rise to the occasion by using technology in the fight against insurgents and kidnappers.

Reacting to the tragedy, Amnesty International Nigeria expressed their grief in an X post, stating that no child should have to choose between their education and their life while urging the government to arrest the perpetrators.

“Amnesty International condemns the appalling abduction of 200 primary and secondary school students and their teachers in #Kuriga Kaduna state. We are calling on the Nigerian authorities to safely rescue the students and hold the suspected perpetrators.’’

The National President of the Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, said, “I show my concern as a father and I extend my sympathy to the parents of the children.

“As a parent, I want the government of Kaduna, the Federal Government, and the local government area to come together to make sure these innocent children are safe, rescued, and returned to their parents.

“The Governor of Kaduna should be held responsible and make sure these children are rescued. I want to also call on all the security personnel to make sure these children are rescued.”

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