Published: Sat, February 27, 2021
Sport | By

Schoolgirls Kidnapped by Bandits in Northwest Nigeria

Schoolgirls Kidnapped by Bandits in Northwest Nigeria

Police Commissioner Abutu Yaro told reporters that 317 girls had been kidnapped from Government Girls Science Secondary School in the town of Jangebe, according to its principal.

DW correspondent Uwaisu Idris said Nigerian security forces were now pursuing the bandits in a forested area where many criminal groups operate.

The letter, read in part: "SERAP is concerned that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is failing to uphold its responsibility to protect Nigerian students from increasing abductions, and attacks on other people by armed men, and if not urgently addressed these abductions and attacks may constitute threat to regional peace and security, and by extension, global peace and security".

Nasiru Abdullahi said his daughters, aged 10 and 13, were among the missing.

All the abductees remained at large, but the parent of one of them, Mohammed Usman Jangebe, said seven of their schoolmates had resurfaced after escaping the raiders by hiding in gutters.

"It is unacceptable that attacks on schools and students has become a recurring scenario in Northern Nigeria", said Mercy Gichuhi, Save the Children's Nigeria director.

The abduction took place in the early hours of Friday, according to available report.

Heavily armed criminal gangs in northwest and central Nigeria have stepped up attacks in recent years, kidnapping for ransom, raping and pillaging.

More than 300 schoolgirls have been abducted by gunmen in northwest Nigeria in the country's latest mass kidnapping, and a rescue bid was under way, regional police said.

A teacher told the BBC that of 421 students in the school at the time, only 55 had been accounted for.

"We are going to rescue our children, since the government isn't ready to give them protection", he said. "If that could not be granted, then we have no option but to think of how to take our children away from boarding schools". He called for their immediate release.

A surge in armed militancy has led to a breakdown of security in the north of Africa's most populous country, where school kidnappings are becoming endemic.

Just last week, 42 people were taken by a gang from a boys school in nearby Niger state. Speaking on the condition of anonymity a resident who lives near the girls' school school told The Daily Telegraph that hundreds of bandits drove into the town on several Toyota Hilux vans and scores of motorcycles, firing into the air, before heading to the school.

Bandits operate out of camps in Rugu forest, which straddles Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states.

The gangs are largely driven by financial motives and have no known ideological leanings.

But there are concerns they are being infiltrated by militants, whose decade-old conflict has killed more than 30,000 people and spread into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

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