On Sunday, 30th of April, 2021, a total of about 136 children were abducted from an Islamic school by gunmen in the north-central Nigerian state of Niger.
A Niger state police spokesperson said that the kidnapping was carried out by “armed bandits on board motorcycles in they were in their numbers”. The gunmen fired “indiscriminately and abducted an unconfirmed number of children”, he said, adding that the gunmen shot one person dead in the process. About 11 children were released during the abduction, due to their tenderness and inability to venture into the forest.
Niger state’s deputy governor, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, confirmed the total number of missing children to be about 136 at a news conference later in the state capital, Minna.
A series of raids on schools and universities in northern Nigeria have been going on in recent months in which more than 800 students have been abducted since December. These raids have been as a result of criminal gang activities which have been carrying out kidnapping for ransom.
Ketso also told reporters that Niger state would not be paying any form of ransom, adding that efforts by security agencies to secure their release have been intensified.
The parents of the abducted children have been urging the Nigerian government to aid in the rescue of the kidnapped children. They also lamented that they have not heard anything from the government, six days after their wards were kidnapped. They are urging the government to do more towards the release of their children. The headmaster of the Islamiyya school also added that two parents have died as a result of shock.
Between the period of June 2011 and March 2020, an estimated $18.34 million have been paid in ransoms, according to Lagos-based SBM Intelligence in a report last year which was titled “The economics of the kidnap industry in Nigeria.”