No fewer than 1,100 students have been abducted over the course of seven years in northern parts of Nigeria, The Nation can confirm.
From Chibok, Borno State, to Dapchi in Yobe, Kankara in Katsina, Kagara in Niger State and Jangebe, Zamfara, mass school abductions have become worrisome.
These recent events have shown that schools are major targets of kidnappers who are fond of abducting students and teachers for ransoms.
This new threat has forced Northern Governors to shut schools and boarding facilities temporarily until normalcy is restored.
Also, Nigeria is known to have the highest number of out-of-school children; this is a development that will adversely affect education especially with the many cases of student abductions.
Here are five high-profile mass abductions Nigeria have recorded in the past few years:
· CHIBOK (APRIL 2014) – 276 STUDENTS
On April 14 and 15, 2014, Boko Haram insurgents invaded the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) in Chibok local government area of Borno state from where they abducted 276 students.
Dozens of the girls managed to escape from captivity while some others were freed in subsequent years.
However, many of these girls are still being held by the insurgents till date.
· DAPCHI (FEBRUARY 2018) – 113 STUDENTS
In neighbouring Yobe state where Boko Haram has also operated unhindered, The Nation reported how 113 persons were abducted when the insurgents struck at Government Girls Secondary and Technical College in Dapchi.
Those abducted comprised 111 students of the school and two other pupils from an unnamed primary school, The Nation learnt.
However, one of the girls, Leah Sharibu, was left behind and has remained in the custody of the insurgents reportedly for refusing to renounce Christianity.
Leah, who is said to be the only Christian among the Dapchi girls recently marked her third year in the custody of the insurgents, since she was abducted alongside her colleagues on February 19, 2018.
KANKARA (DECEMBER 2020) – 344 STUDENTS
Suspected bandits abducted 344 students during a late-night attack on Government Science Secondary School in Kankara.
The incident drew backlashes because it happened in Katsina state where President Muhammadu Buhari hails from. All of them were released days later.
KAGARA (FEBRUARY 2021) – 27 STUDENTS AND 15 OTHERS
While the dust of the abduction in Katsina was yet to settle down, pandemonium gripped Rafi Local Government Area of Niger on February 17 when bandits invaded the Government Science College (GSC) Kagara in Niger state and abducted 27 students.
JANGEBE (FEBRUARY 2021) – 317 STUDENTS
Nigerians woke up to the sad news of another bandit attack on a school in Zamfara State in what could be described as a replica of the Chibok abduction of 2014.
On February 26, Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata-Mafara local government area of Zamfara fell to bandits.
Located in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of the state, the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe became the third victim in the chain of bandit attacks on schools in the North within the last three months.
The police announced that 317 students were abducted. They were released on Tuesday morning after 30 repentant bandits were swapped for their return.