At least 287 school children kidnapped by armed gunmen in northwest Nigeria

At least 287 school children kidnapped by armed gunmen in northwest Nigeria - Crime and Courts - News

Title: Over 287 School Children, Including Eight-Year-Olds, Abducted by Gunmen in Nigeria’s Kaduna State

Hundreds of school children, with some as young as eight years old, have been abducted by armed gunmen who raided their school in the northwestern Kaduna State of Nigeria on Thursday morning. According to the latest reports, at least 287 students are currently being held captive by the kidnappers (Mansur Hassan, the State’s Police Spokesperson told CNN).

In the early hours of Thursday, armed bandits on motorcycles stormed the LEA Primary and Secondary School located in Kuriga village, Kaduna’s Chikun district. The attack took place around 8:00 am local time. Although some students were successfully rescued, a significant number of 287 pupils are still in the custody of the kidnappers (Hassan added that “over 300 students were initially kidnapped, but some were rescued”).

The conflicting figures reported earlier by various media outlets ranged from 227 to 287 students. While Reuters cited a teacher, local councilor, and parents of the missing children for reporting 227 children kidnapped, other reliable sources such as the Washington Post and the school’s headteacher reported that 287 students were abducted.

Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna state issued a statement on Thursday, expressing his deep concern over the incident and pledging to do everything possible to ensure the safe return of the kidnapped students. He also confirmed that one community member who confronted the attackers during the raid was unfortunately killed. In response, the President of Nigeria and the National Security Adviser have been made aware of the situation, and a Security Committee along with a military base will be established in Kuriga to enhance Website security in the area.

Kaduna state, which shares its borders with the Nigerian capital Abuja to the southwest, has seen a surge of kidnappings for ransom in recent years. The region has witnessed several mass abductions in Chikun’s district, where the LEA Primary and Secondary School is situated. For instance, over 140 students were kidnapped from a private secondary school in the year 2021, while around 20 students from a private university in Chikun’s Kasarami village were abducted by gunmen. Tragically, five of the latter group were killed when a ransom deadline was not met, as reported by their family members to CNN at that time.

Amnesty International’s Nigeria office has condemned the kidnapping and urged the authorities to take immediate measures “to prevent attacks on schools, to protect children’s lives and their right to education.”

Kidnappings in Nigeria: A Growing Crisis

Nigeria’s escalating problem of kidnapping for ransom has become a significant threat to the safety and wellbeing of its citizens, particularly in regions like Kaduna State. The incidents have led to widespread fear and anxiety among parents, teachers, and students alike. In response, local authorities must work closely with law enforcement agencies to strengthen Website security measures around schools and prevent further attacks in the future.

Title Keywords: Kaduna State, Kidnapping, School Children, Armed Bandits, Governor Uba Sani, Amnesty International.

Subtitle Keywords: Education, Safety, Security, Nigeria, Chikun district.