137 out of the 287 schoolchildren kidnapped in Kaduna have been released, the Nigerian military says

137 schoolchildren released from the hands of the kaduna kidnappers

Beams of smiles and joy have returned to the faces of the parents, friends, and relatives of some of the 287 schoolchildren kidnapped in Kaduna early this month. The schoolchildren, comprising primary and secondary school children in Kuriga community of the state numbering 287, were abducted by yet-to-be-identified abductors from their school before the security operative could arrive. The perpetrators were said to have arrived riding motorcycles.

During the incident, some of the villagers watched helplessly as the kidnappers marched the schoolchildren into the forest. Since then, all efforts and forces have been deployed towards releasing the children unhurt.

The faceless group behind the abduction of the 287 schoolchildren had, within the last week, demanded 1 billion Naira as ransom to release the victims. However, no claim as regards payment of ransom has been made either by the group or the government.

Kidnapping became a serious and lucrative business in the Northwest and Northeast parts of Nigeria after the incidence of Chibok girls. For the past 10 years, it has been a recurrent occurrence to hear that schoolchildren, villagers, or travelers are kidnapped. Successive governments both at the state and national levels have put up a serious fight to stop this menace with little to nothing achieved so far.

The governor of Kaduna state, Mr. Uba Sani, earlier on Sunday, 24th March 2024, announced that the kidnapped children had been released. He, also, thanked the President of Nigeria for fulfilling his promise to ensure the release of the schoolchildren without paying ransom. The governor did not disclose other details regarding the release.

However, Major Gen. Edward Buba, the spokesperson for Nigeria’s military disclosed that 137 victims comprising 76 females and 61 males were released from their hostage at the hideout of the kidnappers in Zamfara state( a state that is notorious for kidnapping activities and also a few kilometers away from Kaduna). The spokesperson further assured that strategic intelligence as regards releasing the remaining victims is in the process to ensure that the victims are united back with their families and unhurt. The release of these kidnap victims has brought a great boost to Nigeria, especially to the security agencies.

Kidnapping has become a current trend in the Northwest and Northeast parts of the country. It is worrisome to note the ugly impact this act of kidnapping is having on the educational system of the West African most populous nation and the counter efforts of the government to strengthen Western education within the region amidst all odds.

There is no doubt that those who are already kidnap victims may not want to go to school again due to the post-traumatic stress disorder they got from the torture they got at the hands of the kidnapper. Those who are not yet victims may also stop everything connected to going to school for their safety. Parents have to think twice, if they can pay the ransom that may be demanded by kidnappers, before sending their wads to school.

It is therefore imperative that the government may need to rejig itself for the war ahead. The government of Nigeria must be determined to face the battle against kidnappers squarely with every resource within its reach. The idea of making undisclosed Ransoms should be stopped if this war against kidnappers must be won.

In all, it is instinctive to appreciate the gallant men of the Nigerian military for this heroic feat they have attained so far in the fight to purge our society of criminal elements. This release of some of those abducted has renewed the hope Nigerians have in the military and paramilitary agencies. If this tempo is maintained, there is no doubt that the fight against kidnappers will be won. The schools will also be safe again for schoolchildren to comfortably seek knowledge.

This is a developing story, more updates will be made as more hostages are released!

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