140 schoolchildren abducted from Bethel Baptist High School Kaduna
On Monday, reports emerged of another mass kidnapping from a school in Kaduna state.
The mother of a 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped from Bethel Baptist School told journalists at 140 schoolchildren were seized by a large group of armed men who arrived on motorbikes and broke down the fence.
In a statement, police said gunmen “overpowered the school’s security guards and made their way into the students’ hostel where they abducted an unspecified number of students into the forest”.
A total of 26 people – including a female teacher – had been rescued, the statement said.
A local Christian leader said there were 180 students in the school, only 20 of whom had been accounted for so far. However, he said some of them may have escaped.
State Governor Nasir El Rufai told the BBC that he believes kidnappers have come to Kaduna from other states, because he’s been vocal about his decision not to engage with kidnappers in any way.
But now even he has succumbed to pressure from the kidnappers – he recently withdrew his son from a local school where he had enrolled him to promote confidence in public schools. He told the BBC that he’d decided to take his son out to protect other pupils. This latest move will embolden his critics who say his tough stance is counter-productive.
However, kidnappings continue to take place, both in states where governors engage with kidnappers, and in states where they don’t.
Meanwhile, parents and loved ones of the just kidnapped students have begun protest for the immediate release of their children by kidnappers.
The aggrieved parents and loved ones have since blocked the Mararaba Rido road, a major entrance to the state Capital from southern Kaduna, Plateau and Nassarawa states.