In the year 2014, the infamous kidnapping of 276 girls from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria, by the terrorist organization, Boko Haram, took place.
Since then, cases of the kidnapping of students have steadily increased. Indeed, it has reached an alarming proportion.
According to Mr Peter Hawkins, The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) representative in Nigeria, 1436 school children and 17 teachers were kidnapped from schools between December 20220 and April 2022.
Out of these, 16 school children lost their lives.
Let’s have a chronicle of some of these kidnapping incidences:
- In February 2028, 110 school girls were abducted by Boko Haram from Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State. Five died in the process while others were later released except Leah Sharibu, a Christian girl who was said to have refused to renounce her faith.
- December 11, 2020 – 344 boys were kidnapped from Government Secondary Kankara, Katsina State.
- February 17, 2021 – 27 students were taken from Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger State
- Also, in February 2021 – Hundreds of girls were kidnapped from Jangebe, Zamfara State. 279 of these were released on February 27, 2021.
- May 30, students were abducted from an Islamic School in Tegina, Niger State.
- Some students of Federal Government Girls College, Yauri, Kebbi State were abducted.
- July 2021, gunmen abducted many students of Bethel Baptist School, Mararaban Rido, Ckikun LGA of Kaduna State. The bandits invaded the school about 2am on a Monday morning shooting sporadically before kidnapping the students.
- In March 12, 2021, gunmen attacked the Federal School of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Igabi LGA of Kaduna State, and abducted about 30 students.
The Impact of Kidnapping
The effect and impact of Kidnapping on schools can be devastating.
- In the case of Nigeria, you can only imagine the emotional and psychological trauma the victims go through. And their parents.
- The terrible security environment the act of kidnapping and terrorism has brought led governments to close over 600 schools at one time or the other.
- Boarding schools in some local governments were also temporally stopped.
- About 8 years down the line, over 100 Chibok girls are still missing. In total, about 200 students are still missing.
- Over 17 teachers were kidnapped with their students.
- The education of some of the victims has been ruined forever
Motives for Kidnapping of Students
Despite the above devastating effect of Kidnapping on students and their parents, it is unfortunate that the bandits seem to derive ‘’joy’ in doing it.
But why? I am tempted to asked.
The reasons may not be far-fetched. They include amongst others the following 3 motives.
- The Attention they get
- Money they receive through Ransom Payment
- Reward Received by ‘’Repentant’’ Terrorists
The Attention They Get
The kidnapping of students always draws local, national and international outcry. The media is always awash with news stories about the despicable act.
This outcry normally brings governments into the equation to negotiate with the bandits. This national and international outcry that brings about government intervention appears to be a source of encouragement to the bandits.
The kidnappers always demand ransom payment before releasing their victims. Usually, large sums of money are demanded. This has made kidnapping to be lucrative.
With the involvement of government, they usually get what they want. The desire to become rich through this process has become arguably one of the main motives for kidnapping.
Reward Received by ‘’Repentant’’ Terrorists
The idea of government rewarding terrorists who surrender and lay down their arms has become and encouragement to kidnappers.
In July 2020, Governor Bello Matawale of Zamfara State promised gang members who return their ak-47 guns 2 cows.
Sometimes, rewards can come in the form of cash, accommodation, support of means of livelihood and educational scholarship for young repentant
In conclusion the lucrative nature and the national and international attention kidnapping of school children has brought to the bandits has made kidnapping of students to flourish.
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