On Friday, heavily armed militants seized at least 315 girls from the Government Girl’s Secondary school in the town of Jangebe, Zamfara State. The militants arrived at the school at about 1:30 a.m. on motorcycles, kidnapped and took the girls into a nearby forest. This left the relatives of the victims distraught and anxious.
Prior to this, residents said they saw strange men patrolling the school premises and intimidating members of the community
What the community members say;
“All of a sudden we saw strange men on the street [leading to the Government Girls’ Secondary School] at night acting as if there were vigilantes. They were stopping passersby and questioning them about where they were going,” Danlami Umar, who lives near the school told reporters.
The men had occupied the neighbourhood 2 days before the actual kidnapping happened. This prompted the residents to involve the police. Umar said they asked the police to beef up security especially in the school but that did not happen.
However, those living around the school are not the only ones who expressed concern for the safety of the girls. News agencies in Nigeria learned that parents of the students in the school had asked the administration to close the boarding house. This would see them attend school as day scholars. Their pleas fell upon deaf ears.
Some people inside the school said they couldn’t close the school on their own. They claimed that they needed approval from the state education ministry before doing so.
Concerns about the abduction prompted some parents to stop their children from attending the boarding section. This helped reduce the number of girls that the gunmen would have kidnapped.
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