Bandits kidnap 280 pupils in Kaduna school day light raid

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu

Some 280 pupils have been kidnapped in Kaduna by bandits.

Other sources claim kidnapped pupils are about 700. Kaduna has been a theatre of conflict between Muslims and Christians on one hand and Fulani versus indigenous communities on the other hand. Each interest results to various antics of revenge often using vulnerable targets as weapons.

The incident occurred on Thursday at Kuriga, Kaduna State.

The 280 pupils and teachers were from Government Secondary School and LEA Primary School.

Observers are wondering how armed men could storm the schools, cart such a huge number of pupils away without immediate police response even hours after such a large number was taken away by the armed men.

The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Amnesty International, the Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, the Nigeria Union of Teachers, and the House of Representatives have all denounced the attack and called on the government to take immediate action to rescue the victims.

But such condemnation are more rituals in Africa’s biggest economy where kidnapping of school pupils has become a national menace.

According to reports made available to Irohinoodua, the bandits launched their assault on the Kuriga area of Chikun Local Government Area, shooting indiscriminately before forcibly taking away the pupils and teachers from both schools. This incident occurred just a day after insurgents abducted 200 internally displaced women in Borno State, highlighting the escalating security challenges across the nation.

As a temporary measure , the Government Secondary School has been relocated to the primary school premises. The attack also follows previous incidents in the same Chikun LGA, including an abduction in Gonin-Gora and an attack on the Kuriga community.

Sani Abdullahi, a teacher at Government Secondary School Kuriga told journalists that the bandits were well armed.

He said the bandits surrounded the school premises, forcing them into the bush, where he managed to escape along with others.

Governor Senator Uba Sani, accompanied by senior government officials and security agency heads, visited the scene of the attack on Thursday evening.

The Governor reassured the community of efforts to rescue the abducted individuals.

Efforts by vigilantes and the Kaduna State Vigilante Service to pursue the bandits tragically resulted in the loss of one vigilante’s life.

Abdullahi narrated his devastating experience during the governors visit to the scene, “I resumed school today (Thursday) at exactly 7:47am. “We became confused. We didn’t know where to go. Then, the bandits asked us to enter the bush, so we obeyed them because they were many and the pupils who were about 700 were following us. So, when we entered the bush, I was lucky to escape alongside many other people.”

“So, I returned to the village and reported what happened to the community. So, immediately our vigilante and personnel of KADVS (Kaduna State Vigilante Service) followed the bandits, but the vigilante did not succeed the bandits killed one of the vigilantes; we just buried him a short while ago.’’

The community has been left reeling from the abduction, with 187 students missing from GSS Kuriga and 125 pupils initially unaccounted for in the primary school. Amidst the chaos, residents reported that the bandits, armed with dangerous weapons, led their victims into the forest.

“It was when we came back from that pursuit that we briefed the village head and we started making efforts to know the number of pupils and teachers taken away by the bandits.

“At GSS Kuriga, 187 students are presently missing. In the primary school, 125 pupils were initially missing, but, 25 of them escaped and retired home,” Abdullahi told Punch Newspapers

According to Abdullahi statement, “over 280 pupils and teachers were taken away.’’

Governor Senator Uba Sani said “In my capacity as your elected governor, I am assuring you that by the grace of God, all the children will return unhurt.”

“Before coming here, I spoke with the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and we are making efforts, the security forces have swung into action, and by God’s grace, we will rescue the children.’’

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