The governor of the northeastern African state of Niger says kidnappers have released 42 people abducted a week ago, including 27 students.
Last week, three school staff members, including 27 students, and 12 members of their families were abducted by gunmen from a government school in Niger at around 2 pm, according to Reuters.
According to reports, the abducted students were between 15 and 18 years old.
Niger Governor Abubakar Sani Bello said in a tweet that the abducted students, officials and their families had been rescued.
According to him, the rescued people are under the protection of the state government.
On Friday, gunmen abducted more than 300 students from a government secondary school.
According to reports, an operation was carried out in Zamfara state about 24 hours after the abduction of the students, whose governor had ordered the closure of all schools immediately after the incident.
According to Zamfara Information Commissioner Sulaiman Tanau Anka, the kidnappers opened fire at the school around 1 pm.
These are not #Endsars, no looters, no criminals but they're the future, leaders of tomorrow as widely used to say. These killers are more powerful than the govt, which shows the incapability of the leading govt. This is what makes us ousted the useless past govt
— Aminu Bello (@AbBaminu32) February 27, 2021
This is the second incident in about a week in northwestern Nigeria in which militants or criminal gangs have targeted a school.
Zamfara police say they have launched a search and rescue operation with the help of the army.
Police Commissioner Abutu Yaro told reporters that he had information that the kidnappers were hiding in a nearby forest. They are trying to find him carefully.
The abducted students are still missing. However, the father of one of the abducted girls, said that the seven girls had managed to escape from the clutches of the kidnappers.
He added that according to the information available to him, the kidnappers had brought vehicles to abduct the girls. Some of the abductors also took some of the girls on foot.
As of Friday night, no group had claimed responsibility for the abduction.
It should be noted that the kidnapping incidents have been carried out by the extremist groups ‘Boko Haram’ and ‘ISIS’. However, these methods are now being adopted by other militant groups whose motives are not yet clear.
This is the third such incident in the northern part of Nigeria since December last year.
Due to these recent incidents, political pressure is mounting on President Muhammadu Buhari. He is also a retired army general and former military dictator.
According to Reuters, a government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the government had also paid a ransom to the kidnappers for the children’s release.
On the other hand, the government has denied reports of ransom being paid.
President Muhammadu Buhari had said on Friday that he would not be blackmailed by the kidnappers.
In a statement, the president asked the authorities not to give money or vehicles to the kidnappers.