One million Nigerian children to miss school due to insecurity:UN

accreditation
  • One million Nigerian children will likely stay away from school because of the threat of violence after a series of mass kidnappings and attacks targeting students this year.
  • More than 1 000 pupils have been snatched in mass abductions for ransom by criminal gangs in Nigeria's northwest and central states since December.
  • Most have been released after ransom negotiations, but only after weeks or months in captivity, often in appalling conditions in rural camps.

One million Nigerian children will likely stay away from school because of the threat of violence after a series of mass kidnappings and attacks targeting students this year, the UN said on Wednesday.

More than 1 000 pupils have been snatched in mass abductions for ransom by criminal gangs in Nigeria's northwest and central states since December with dozens still in captivity.

The UN children's agency UNICEF said there had been 20 attacks on schools in Nigeria this year and more than 1 400 pupils were taken and 16 had died.

Most have been released after ransom negotiations, but only after weeks or months in captivity, often in appalling conditions in rural camps.

UNICEF said in a statement:

Families and communities remain fearful of sending children back to their classrooms due to the spate of school attacks and student abductions.

More than 37 million Nigerian children are due to start the new school year this month, the agency said, while an estimated one million would likely not return.

Some state governments have temporarily closed up schools after kidnappings.

Northwest and central states have long struggled with tit-for-tat violence between nomadic herder and farmer communities who battle over land and water.

Attacks escalated with the emergence of heavily armed criminal gangs, known locally as bandits, who raid villages, steal cattle and kidnap for ransom.

Bandit gangs this year have targeted schools and colleges in Nigeria's northwest, snatching pupils and taking them into forest hideouts while they negotiate payments.

Around 70 students abducted nearly a fortnight ago were freed this week in northwest Zamfara State, where the army has started an offensive against bandit kidnap gangs.


Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you 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.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Children between 12 and 17 can now be vaccinated against Covid-19. As a parent I am:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Relieved, it's been a long wait to this point
50% - 1444 votes
A bit hesitant, and will wait to see how it goes
22% - 647 votes
Completely against my child getting the shot
27% - 786 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.47
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
19.99
-0.7%
Rand - Euro
16.85
-0.9%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.85
-0.6%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.2%
Gold
1,783.66
+0.1%
Silver
24.19
-0.2%
Palladium
2,027.41
-2.1%
Platinum
1,044.00
-0.9%
Brent Crude
85.82
+0.9%
Top 40
59,674
-1.2%
All Share
66,189
-1.1%
Resource 10
61,545
-2.5%
Industrial 25
85,379
-0.2%
Financial 15
13,931
-1.0%
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