Nigeria: Over 250 schoolchildren kidnapped in Kuriga- KANO- March 07, 2024

Saturday, March 09, 2024
Kano, Nigeria

More than 280 students and teachers from Government Secondary School and LEA Primary School in Kuriga, Kaduna State, were abducted by bandits on Thursday, sparking national outrage.
What seemed an aberration in 2014, when militants abducted 276 schoolgirls from the community of Chibok, Nigeria, has become a recurring horror in the country. Indeed, nearly ten years ago, Boko Haram jihadists kidnapped more than 250 schoolgirls from Chibok, in northeastern Nigeria, sparking an international outcry. Some of them are still missing.
This latest mass kidnapping on Thursday, March 07, 2024 in Kaduna State is the second in a week in Africa’s most populous country, where heavily armed criminal gangs regularly target victims in villages, schools, churches, etc.
One teacher and several local residents said that at least 250 pupils, and possibly as many as 280, had been abducted. At least one person was killed in the attack, residents said. The school principal and other staff members were among those abducted by the thugs.
The incident had occurred at around 8 a.m., shortly after the morning assembly.

“Shortly after the assembly, hundreds of pupils ran out of their classrooms after spotting the thugs in large numbers in the school compound. They ran in different directions,” one resident, Adamu Shehu, told one of our correspondents on the phone.
Another resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, explained that the bandits, brandishing dangerous weapons, took their victims into the forest.
A student identified simply as Ahmed, who was shot and rushed to Birnin-Gwari general hospital, was pronounced dead. He reportedly died while being treated at the hospital.
According to Sani Abdullahi, one of the teachers at GSS Kuriga School, in the Chikun district, some managed to escape with many students as the gunmen fired into the air.
“At Kuriga secondary school, 187 children are missing, while at the elementary school, 125 children were missing, but 25 have returned,” he detailed.
“We implore the government (…) to help us with security”, added one resident.
This kidnapping comes a few days after a previous kidnapping of more than 100 women and children last week in a camp for displaced persons in Borno state (northwest) by suspected jihadists. The women were abducted in Ngala, the headquarters of Gambarou Ngala in Borno state, as they went to collect wood in the bush.

These events illustrate the immense security challenge facing the new government in power since last year.
Rights group Amnesty International and Unicef condemned the kidnappings in Kaduna, calling on the Nigerian authorities to better protect schools.
“Schools should be places of safety, and no child should have to choose between their education and their life,” Amnesty International said in part.
“Amnesty International condemns the appalling abduction of 200 primary and secondary school pupils and their teachers in Kuriga Kaduna State. We call on the Nigerian authorities to rescue the students safely and arrest the alleged perpetrators.
The Secretary General of the Nigerian Teachers’ Union, Dr Mike Ike-Ene, also described the incident as terrible: “It’s terrible. How could thugs kidnap 200 children? It’s enormous. I feel for the parents and guardians because something like this can cause heart attacks, high blood pressure and so on.
“We have often asked the government to declare a state of emergency in our schools with regard to security. My advice is to invest in community policing, as is the case in developed countries.
In February 2021, gunmen attacked a girls’ school in the town of Jangebe, in the northern state of Zamfara, kidnapping over 300 people.
Between July 2022 and June 2023, 3,620 people were kidnapped in 582 attacks across the country, according to Nigerian risk management consultancy SBM Intelligence.
Meanwhile, the list of families distressed and worried to death about the abduction of their children continues to grow.




Photo credit : AFP


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