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Northern Nigerian Schools Under Siege From Kidnappers

Northern Nigerian Schools Under Siege From Kidnappers

Two Nigerian sisters, Hafsat 14, and Aisha 13, were abducted from their dormitories along with 250 other girls. They were taken into captivity by gunmen and a week later were released.

This was in early March after a truce with their abductors. However, this happened to be just the beginning of their ordeal.

On top of the trauma they face, they also fear that their chance of an education is slowly slipping away. This is because hundreds of schools have been shut across northwest Nigeria following a spate of abductions of students, especially females.

‘’My daughters are worried that the continued closure of their school means the end of their education and their future,’’ the father of the two girls, Mustapha Muhammad said.

Where it all started;

Since late 2020, gangs in Nigeria have increasingly targeted schools and colleges for kidnap attacks. They hope for ransom out of authorities. This has forced many schools across the region to close and this has fueled education woes in the country.

In the latest incident last month, gunmen kidnapped 39 students from a certain college outside the city of Kaduna. Kidnappers are still holding most of these students captive.

Northwest and central Nigeria are now the centers for criminal gangs and cattle thieves as well as kidnappers. These raid villages, killing and abducting people after looting and burning their homes.

The schools they target are usually in remote areas where students stay in dormitories with only watchmen making them easy targets.

Some parents have said that if the stay-at-home for the girls is prolonged, they will have no option but to marry them off. Muhammad, the father of Hafsat and Aisha agreed with this saying five parents in Jangebe had been approached to marry off their daughters since their release last month.

Authorities recently asked girls to join any day school in their area. However, the schools have declined to admit them due to issues with space.

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