No fewer than 1,065 students of schools across Nigeria have been kidnapped in the last seven months, Vanguard reports.
Also during the period under review, six students were killed by their abductors, while 273 others are still being held as at press time.
Two polytechnic lecturers and one other staff member are still being held by their captors.
Though relatives of victims and the government do not publicly disclose how much is paid as ransom, hundreds of millions of naira had been paid to secure the release of victims.
Recall that on December 11, 2020, 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, were abducted, but released about two weeks later.
Also, on December 20, 2020, 80 students of Islamiya Schools in Mahuta, Katsina State were kidnapped and were later released, while on February 17, this year, 27 students of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State, were kidnapped and later released.
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Similarly, on February 26, 2020, 317 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State were abducted and 279 released and 38 are still being held, while on March 11, this year, 39 students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Nando, Niger State, were kidnapped and all later set free.
On April 20, this year, 20 students of Greenfield University, Kaduna were kidnapped and five were killed by their captors and 15 set free after the payment of ransom. It was the bloodiest abduction so far.
On April 26, three students of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State were abducted and later released, while on May 30, 136 students of Salihu Tanko Islamic School, Tegina, Niger State were kidnapped, none has been released and on June 11, five students of Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria, Kaduna State were killed alongside two lecturers and another staff member of the institution. None has been released.
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On June 17, 94 students of Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Zamfara State were abducted, one was killed and only nine have been released.
Commenting on the development, the National President of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, described the development as a blight on education in the country.
“It is more than being described as unfortunate. This is not the way our education sector should be known to the world, we should not be known as a country where pupils and students are no longer safe in schools. When students and teachers are not safe in schools, is that an incentive?
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“We are waiting for the words of hope from the government and our security people that those still being held are safely and in good health will be reunited with their families. Also, we want to see proactive steps that will not allow a recurrence of such ugly developments again in our schools.
“We just pray that those involved in the criminal act would have a change of heart and stop all this,” he said.
On his part, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Mr Anderson Ezeibe, said his union is awaiting the release of abducted members.
“Last month’s attack on the Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria, Kaduna State was the third in recent time. After the two previous attacks, nothing was done to safeguard the school. The polytechnic has no perimeter fence and it is just like throwing it open for attack.
“During my last discussion with the management of the school and members, I was told the abductors said they would get across to the school concerning negotiation, but there has not been any update on that.
” We hope the government will do the needful and ensure the protection of lives and properties of the citizens,” he said.