Kidnapped Nigerian children escape captivity


28 children escaped captivity

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AT least 28 children have escaped captivity following a mass kidnapping in northern Nigeria last Thursday.

The courageous minors are among hundreds of individuals abducted by a group of unidentified gunmen in the Chikun Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State.

These militants abducted dozens of students and staff from the LEA Primary School on Thursday morning.

There are conflicting reports on the number of persons who were kidnapped, estimated at around 300 individuals, mostly children.

At the time of publishing, no group had claimed responsibility for the incident, and no ransom demands had been reported.

However, Kaduna is one of a number of Nigerian states suffering unrest by kidnap for ransom gangs or Islamist insurgents.

Search operations are ongoing across Kaduna, particularly in nearby forest areas, to apprehend the kidnappers and rescue the victims.

“Security forces may establish roadblocks, checkpoints and search vehicles. Residents may assemble to protest insecurity,” a security source said.

Isa Sanusi, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said the latest mass abductions showed President Bola Tinubu and his government had no effective plan for ending years of atrocities by armed groups and gunmen that are increasingly having a free reign across many parts of Nigeria.

“Whatever security measures being implemented by President Tinubu and his government are clearly not working,” Sanusi said.

Insecurity has meanwhile plagued the north-central Benue State where 47 people have died following armed clashes between rival militias.

It is the latest in a series of long running clashes between herdsmen and peasant farmers.

At least 26 people were injured and 22 kidnapped during the clashes in the Gwer East Local Government Area.

A spokesperson of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the scene was “chaotic and heart-wrenching, with locals scrambling for their lives and safety.”

“Families were forced out from their homes with immediate effect due to fear and unpredictability sparked by these violent occurrences. Infrastructure was damaged as well, contributing further to the bleak scenario unfolding here,” said the aid worker.

“It is crucial that we pool our resources together during such challenging times to provide relief measures for the victims who have been displaced from their homes amidst this turmoil.”

According to information, the bloody fight started last Tuesday after a Tiv militia leader kidnapped a rival Fulani militia leader and his family members from a neighboring community.

Tiv are mostly farmers, mainly Christian while herdsmen are majorly Fulani and Muslim.

Although after a ransom of about N5 million was given to the gang leaders, the latter maintained hostages. The killing of the hostage sparked outrage among his gang members.

Authorities in the state have heightened security to prevent further violence, including retaliatory attacks from aggrieved communities.

Officials are likely to impose movement restrictions, such as curfews.

Locals are reportedly planning to stage protests to denounce the perceived inaction to stem the violence.

– CAJ News

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