Gunmen in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state kidnapped eight secondary school students coming from school along with an unknown number of others, authorities said on Tuesday, the latest in a wave of such abductions.
Armed gangs operating mostly in remote parts of northwest Nigeria have carried out violent attacks against villagers, schools and motorists, abducting hundreds for ransom.
Samuel Aruwan, the commissioner for internal security in Kaduna, said gunmen on Monday abducted the eight students from Awon Government Secondary School in the Kachia local government area.
It was not immediately clear where the students were taken to, but the kidnappers often keep victims in the forests and only release them when a ransom is paid.
“The management of the school has submitted the names and classes of the kidnapped students,” said Aruwan.
Insecurity is one of the issues that will confront Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Tinubu, who is due to be sworn in, in May.
Nigeria’s military has been fighting armed groups like Boko Haram in the northeast, which has left it thinly stretched to tackle the kidnapping gangs known locally as bandits.
Many of the bandits are believed to comprise mostly ethnic Fulanis, including pastoralists and mercenaries from the region as well as neighbouring Chad and the Niger Republic.
On several occasions, they have kidnapped schoolchildren in various parts of Nigeria’s Niger, Kebbi and Yobe states. Other victims of their kidnapping-for-ransom scheme range across all social classes, from politicians and relatives to clerics, security guards and farmers.
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