By Henry Ojelu
Since Boko Haram redefined abductions in the country, schools and students have become targets.
Below is a timeline of how far terrorists and criminals have gone in making schools unsafe— especially for the girl-child.
April 14, 2014: Girls Secondary School, Chibok
On April 14, 2014, 276 mostly Christian female students aged from 16 to 18 were kidnapped by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram from the Government Girls Secondary School at the town of Chibok in Borno State.
Prior to the raid the school had been closed for four weeks due to deteriorating security conditions, but the girls were in attendance in order to take final exams in Physics.
No fewer than 57 of the schoolgirls escaped immediately following the incident by jumping from the trucks on which they were being transported, and others have been rescued by the Nigerian Armed Forces on various occasions.
Hopes have been raised that the 219 remaining girls might be released; however some girls are believed to be dead.
Amina Ali, one of the missing girls, was found in May 2016. As of April 14, 2021, seven years after the initial kidnapping, over 100 of the girls remain missing
February 19, 2018: Dapchi School Girls, Yobe
Barely four years after the attack on Chibok, the insurgents took their onslaught to Yobe, another state in the troubled North-West region.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed confirmed that 110 students were kidnapped after Boko Haram invaded the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) in Dapchi, on Monday, February 19, 2018.
When the gunmen attacked the all-girls boarding school, many residents of the town had thought they were security forces as they came in camouflaged vehicles.
Although most of the students have reunited with their families after they were released on March 21, 2018 by their abductors, Leah Sharibu is yet to be freed by the gunmen.
Reports suggest the 14-year-old, a Christian, wasn’t freed with the others because she refused to convert to Islam.
December 11, 2020: Kankara Boys, Katsina
On Friday, December 11, 2020 bandits took 303 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina into captivity.
A week after the students were taken into captivity, their abductors released them. The government denied paying a ransom to secure the students from the all-boys educational institution.
December 19, 2020: Dandume foiled kidnapping attack
Less than two days after the kidnapped Kankara students’ release, some gunmen abducted more than 80 Islamic school students in the same Katsina State.
This time, the pupils were quickly rescued by security forces after a fierce gun battle, according to the police.
The attempted kidnapping took place in Dandume, about 64 kilometres from Kankara, the town where the earlier kidnapping of schoolboys occurred.
February 17, 2021: Bandits abduct another 41 in Kagara, Niger State
Gunmen invaded a school in Niger State on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 kidnapping 41 persons.
The gunmen raided the Government Science College Kagara, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, capturing students, teachers, and their family members from the school. 27 students were among the abductees.
February 26, 2021: 317 Female students abducted in Zamfara State
Less than 10 days after the bandits raided Kagara, gunmen kidnapped 317 schoolgirls from the Government Girls Science Secondary School Jangebe in Jangebe, Zamfara State.
The incident happened on Friday, February 26, 2021.
March 11, 2021: College of Forestry, Afaka, Kaduna
The Afaka kidnapping took place on March 11, 2021, when gunmen attacked Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Igabi LGA, Kaduna State, and kidnapped 39 students just weeks after a similar attack in Jangebe, Zamfara State.
The abducted comprised 23 females along with 16 males. Security forces were able to rescue 180 staff and students the next day.
On April 5, 2021, the government of Kaduna State announced that five of the 39 people abducted from the Afaka School have been released.
On April 8, 2021, the state further announced that another five more students have been released, leaving 29 still in captivity.
On May 5, 2021, the state government announced that the remaining 29 students have been released after spending 55 days in captivity.
April 20, 2021: Greenfield University Kidnap
The Greenfield University kidnapping took place on April 20, 2021, when at least 20 students and two staff were kidnapped in Kasarami village, Chikun LGA, Kaduna State, during an attack by suspected armed bandits at Greenfield University.
The kidnappers demanded N800 million ransom. On April 23, 2021, the kidnappers killed three of the students.
On May 29, 2021, after 40 days in captivity the remaining 14 students were freed. Their parents also said they paid a ransom of N150 million and eight brand new motorcycles to the bandits.
May 30, 2021: Niger Muslim school kidnap
On May 30, 2021, an armed gang abducted dozens of students from an Islamic school in Niger State.
One of the school’s officials disclosed that the attackers initially took more than 100 children “but later sent back those they considered too small for them, those between four and 12 years old”.
The state government, in a series of tweets, said the attackers had released 11 of the pupils who were “too small and couldn’t walk” very far.
The latest was the Thursday, June 17, when a mass of heavily armed bandits struck at Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Yauri Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
Vanguard reported that the gunmen took their time to select the girls (students) they took away. Read it HERE.