Education Kidnap Crisis

Friday Sani, left, with his daughters Rejoice, second left, and Victory, second right, who were among 39 students kidnapped from their college.

Education Kidnap Crisis

The Growing Crisis of Abductions

In northern Nigeria, going to school has become dangerous. Armed gangs, especially the Fulani militants known as bandits, are targeting schools and colleges. They roam freely and seem to get away with it. The recent kidnappings at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation and Greenfield University show how serious the problem has become.

Desperate Parents and Ransom Delivery

One father, Friday Sani, was so desperate to save his daughters and the other students who were kidnapped that he volunteered to deliver a huge ransom of over 40 million naira. He didn’t trust the authorities, so he negotiated directly with the kidnappers. This shows just how desperate parents are to save their children.

 

Pupils’ footwear was lost during their abduction and concerned parents at Bethel Baptist high school, where 140 pupils were abducted in July

The Consequence of Lawlessness and Inaction

Kidnapping has become a big problem in northern Nigeria because of the armed bandits and the unresolved conflicts between farmers and herders. Some state governments have made peace deals with these gangs, but people are skeptical about whether these agreements stop the criminal activities.

The Role of Intermediaries

When reading tolaw enforcement fails, parents turn to intermediaries like Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who has connections to the bandit gangs. Gumi claims he is trying to appeal to the bandits, not support them financially. However, some parents are suspicious because the ransom demands keep increasing. They question the true intentions of these intermediaries.

Girls kidnapped from a school in Zamfara state after their release earlier this year

The Impact on Education

According to the UN, over 2,000 children and young people have been kidnapped in Nigeria this year. This is causing an education crisis. Peter Hawkins from Unicef warns that the insecurity is making it harder for children, especially girls, to stay in school. The bold attacks by kidnappers only make the situation worse.

A Disturbing Shift in Kidnapper Behavior

Kidnappers are becoming more audacious in their attacks. Sani Jalingo, the leader of the Greenfield University attack, demanded a shocking 800 million naira for the students’ release. He even boasted about it in interviews with the media. This shows that urgent action is needed to stop these criminals.

The Emotional Toll on Surviving Students

The recent attack on Greenfield University resulted in the tragic deaths of five students. The survivors were forced to make appeals to their parents by the kidnappers, which was a terrifying experience. Families are deeply affected by this and are calling for more government support.

Two Niger State Catholic Priest Had been KIdnapped By Unknown Gunmen.

Lingering Trauma and Concerns for the Future

Even after the students were released, many parents were frustrated with the lack of action from the security forces. Some are even considering moving their children to different areas for education because they fear for their safety. Victory, Rejoice, and others have not been able to return to their studies, leaving families worried about the future of education in the region.

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