In what is now said to be one of the largest mass school kidnappings in all of history, more than 300 schoolboys were abducted at gunpoint last week from northwestern Nigeria.
Last week, the Government Science Secondary School Kankara in Katsina State was attacked and over 300 hundred children were kidnapped. However, much to everyone’s relief, these boys were returned safely on Friday. While there has been some speculation about who is responsible for these kidnappings, most reliable sources say that it is Africa’s ill-famed terrorist organization Boko Haram, since they have claimed responsibility for these actions. However, some experts are sceptical because the region of the incident is outside the group’s general area of operation.
Boko Haram literally translates to “western education is forbidden”. Founded in 2002, the jihadist group aims to overthrow the government of Nigeria and create an Islamic State. The group, over the last two decades, has known to create havoc among Africa’s most populous State as well as other regions in the continent.
The boys arrived in Katsina, on a bus and were met by the President Muhammadu Buhari.
The government informs that no ransoms were paid and that the boys were released after negotiations with the kidnappers. They were taken for medical checkups and then reunited with their parents.
President Buhari has been facing criticism due to the State’s continued security issues. In a statement released, Buhari wrote, "Our administration is fully aware of the responsibility we have to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians. I ask Nigerians to be patient and fair to us as we deal with the challenges of security, the economy, and corruption. We will not relent.”
Among other possible perpetrators of the crime, some believe that the attacks may have been carried out by local bandits, who are known to be just as dangerous around the country.