Gunmen linked to abductions of 287 students in latest school attack

Affected community attacked by gunmen in Plateau State

Gunmen linked to abductions of 287 students in latest school attack

….As Nigerians protest against unabated kidnapping, banditry, other crimes. 

By Yahaya Idris.

Serious questions are mount, following the attack which occurred days after about 200 people, mostly women and children, were abducted by unknown gunmen in northeastern Nigeria.

A woman and victim of the latest attack cries as she calls out to the government to help in rescuing the school children that were kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Chikun village, Kaduna State, Nigeria, on March 7, 2024.

The intelligence news investigation revealed that the Gunmen attacked a school in Nigeria’s northwest region on Thursday and abducted about 287 students.

The headteacher told authorities that the recent attack mark the second mass abduction in the West African nation in less than a week.

Our correspondent noted that Abductions of students from schools in northern Nigeria are common and have become a source of concern since 2014 when outlawed Boko-Haram group kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls in Borno state’s Chibok village.

In recent years, the abductions have been concentrated in northwestern and central regions, where dozens of armed groups often target villagers and travelers for huge ransoms.

Some locals told who spoke to our correspondent said the assailants on Thursday surrounded the government-owned school in Kaduna State’s Kuriga town just as the pupils and students were about to start the school day at around 8 a.m.

A statement earlier released by the Authorities had it that more than 100 students were taken hostage in the attack.

Sani Abdullahi, the headteacher, however, briefed Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani when he visited the town that the total number of those missing after a headcount was 287.

“We will ensure that every child will come back. We are working with the security agencies,” the governor told villagers in the area located 55 miles from the capital.

No group claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack though blame fell on armed groups that mostly constitute herders who have been accused of carrying out violent attacks and kidnappings for ransom following decades-long pastoral conflict with host communities.

Security forces arrived with the governor several hours later as a search operation widened, while community members and parents gathered to wait for news.

The attack occurred days after more than 200 people, mostly women and children, were abducted by extremists in northeastern Nigeria.

Women, children and students are often targeted in the mass abductions in the conflict-hit northern region and many victims are released only after paying huge ransoms.

Observers say both attacks are a reminder of Nigeria’s worsening security crisis which resulted in the deaths of several hundred people in 2023, according to an AP analysis.

A Nigerian woman lament over Abductions of 287 school children
A Nigerian woman lament over Abductions of 287 school children

People gather around an area were gunmen kidnapped school children in Chikun, Nigeria, Thursday, March 7, 2024. (AP Photo)

Bola Tinubu was elected president of Nigeria last year after promising to end the violence. But there has been “no tangible improvement in security situation yet” under Tinubu, said Oluwole Ojewale, West and Central Africa researcher with the Africa-focused Institute for Security Studies.

People gather around an area were gunmen kidnapped school children in Chikun, Nigeria
People gather around an area where gunmen kidnapped school children in Chikun, Nigeria, on March 7, 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *