Breaking News
A Nigerian Army vehicle

Nigeria Searches for Kidnapped Students in Latest Round of Abductions

Share this article

Search teams in Nigeria are looking for armed men holding four students out of six kidnapped from their school Friday, one of many violent incidents reported in Nigeria in recent months as the country gears up for elections in February.

Nassarawa state’s police commissioner, Maiyaki Mohammed Baba, told VOA Sunday that the teams, including the military, police and civil defense and locals, searched a nearby forest in the state for a second day for the remaining students.

“It is an unfortunate feature of life in this country,” one Nigerian official told Soldier of Fortune on January 22. “It is part of the ongoing discord.”

The discord has continued at least from October, when Nigerian military troops killed eight people believed to be members of the Islamic State terrorists. The troops then repelled what would have been a bloody assault on a military base in Niger state Central Senatorial District, where many jihadists are being held. 

Subscribe to the Soldier of Fortune Newsletter

Enter your email below to receive exclusive content from Soldier of Fortune right in your inbox.

Nassarawa state’s police commissioner, Maiyaki Mohammed Baba, told VOA Sunday that the teams, including the military, police and civil defense and locals, searched a nearby forest in the state for a second day for the remaining students.

Armed men on Friday attacked the Local Education Authority Primary School, Alwaza, in the Doma district while the children were reporting to school and kidnapped six pupils. Schools are often targets for ransom-driven armed gangs with a reputation for notoriety in central and northwest Nigeria.

Baba said state authorities have also fortified schools to prevent a repeat of the incident.

Security forces on Saturday rescued two girls who were abducted and reunited them with their families after a medical examination. 

“So far, we’re putting on intensive efforts to ensure that we rescue the remaining ones. They’re all in the bush now in trail of the suspects. We provided guards in all our schools to ensure that such thing does not repeat itself again,” said Baba, speaking to VOA by phone. 

READ MORE about discord in Nigeria.

The United Nations estimates more than 1,500 school students have been kidnapped, mostly in northern Nigeria, since late 2020. Most of them have been freed through negotiations but some are still being held.

Farmers and herders also frequently clash over land and scarce resources in Nassarawa state.

Nigerian authorities have been struggling to stem a wave of violence just weeks ahead of elections scheduled for February 25. Security has been a major topic among campaigners.

According to two military sources, dozens of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) militants in October tried to overrun the military cantonment in Wawa, a remote New Bussa town close to Benin Republic boundary, in order to free more than 1,000 of their members in the military captivity.

The Wawa attempted raid intensifies the threat posed by the ISWAP terrorist group against the most populated and oil-rich African nation as the group continues to expand outside the northeast part of the country, where they held hostages for more than a decade.

The United States Government had earlier ordered diplomats’ families to vacate Abuja due to what it referred to as a “heightened risk of terrorist attacks.” 

With reporting by Charles Nwoke and VOA.

About Soldier of Fortune Magazine

Check Also

Chinese Spy Balloon Discovered Flying Over US, Pentagon Says

Share this article        A Chinese spy balloon has been flying at high altitudes above the …