Gunmen kidnap pupils in Nigeria's restive northwest

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
iStock
  • An unspecified number of pupils and teachers from a primary school in Nigeria have been kidnapped.
  • Just four days ago 39 college students were kidnapped by a gang.
  • At least four mass kidnappings have occurred since December.


Gunmen on Monday seized an unspecified number of primary school pupils and teachers in the northwestern Nigerian state of Kaduna, the government said, in a region wracked by banditry and kidnapping.

The raid is the latest in a string of attacks on schools in Nigeria, coming just four days after 39 college students were kidnapped by a gang.

Kaduna's home affairs commissioner, Samuel Aruwan, said the government had received security reports that "some pupils and teachers" had been abducted at the LEA Primary School in Rema, in the Birnin Gwari area.

The authorities are "currently obtaining details on the actual number of pupils and teachers reported to have been kidnapped," he said in a statement.

The total number of children enrolled at the school was not immediately known. Most primary pupils in Nigeria are aged between six and 11.

Gangs in northwest and central Nigeria, who are known locally as bandits, have recently turned their focus to mass kidnappings, seizing school students for ransom.

At least four mass kidnappings have occurred since December.

Gunmen abducted 39 students late Thursday from hostels on the outskirts of Kaduna city, the state capital.

On Monday, the authorities shut down their college and sent home 180 other students and staff who had been rescued.

"Yesterday, under the cover of the military, we brought all the students back to the school so they could pick all their personal belongings before we handed them over to their parents," Abubakar Hassan, head of Kaduna's State Emergency Agency (SEMA), told AFP.

"Parents have been asking these students to be released to them and they would have been released earlier but we needed to manage their trauma and get them to a certain level of comfort," he added.

At the weekend, security forces thwarted a gang that had stormed a secondary school in Ikara, Aruwan said on Sunday.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.77
+0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.69
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.65
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.09
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,846.66
0.0%
Silver
21.76
0.0%
Palladium
1,970.00
0.0%
Platinum
958.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
112.55
+0.5%
Top 40
61,000
-1.2%
All Share
67,575
-1.0%
Resource 10
72,529
+1.6%
Industrial 25
72,948
-3.9%
Financial 15
15,746
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE