Nigeria: Demand for N1 Billion Ransom and Threats of Violence: The Abduction of 287 Kaduna Students

Nigeria: Demand for N1 Billion Ransom and Threats of Violence: The Abduction of 287 Kaduna Students

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

On March 7, 2024, a tragic event unfolded in Kuriga, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, as 287 school children fell victim to abduction by bandits. The perpetrators of this heinous act have since demanded a staggering N1 billion ransom for the release of their captives. Moreover, they have issued a chilling ultimatum, threatening to execute the hostages if their demands are not met within 20 days.

This alarming development has prompted widespread concern and condemnation. President Bola Tinubu, in response to the escalating crisis, has unequivocally instructed security agencies to prioritize the safe return of the abducted children while adamantly opposing any ransom payments to criminal elements. Such payments, as he rightly asserted, only serve to embolden and perpetuate the cycle of violence orchestrated by these nefarious groups.

The gravity of the situation is further underscored by the revelation that the bandits are now resorting to mass abductions, exploiting innocent civilians as human shields in the face of intensified military operations. It is a reprehensible tactic aimed at thwarting the efforts of security forces and prolonging the suffering of both the victims and their families.

Efforts to secure the release of the abducted students are underway, with the military affirming its commitment to ensuring their safe return. Major General Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations, reiterated the military’s resolve to rescue all kidnapped victims unharmed. However, he also underscored the need for timely reporting of such incidents, lamenting the delay in alerting security agencies to the abduction.

In a parallel endeavor, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has pledged its full cooperation in collaboration with other security agencies to expedite the recovery of the abducted students. The Commandant-General, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, assured the government and people of Kaduna State of concerted efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice and prevent similar atrocities in the future.

Meanwhile, proactive measures are being explored to enhance surveillance and combat kidnappings. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has secured presidential approval to deploy drones and other surveillance equipment, bolstering efforts to track and apprehend criminals. This initiative underscores the government’s commitment to leveraging technological advancements in the fight against insecurity.

Additionally, a high-level meeting convened by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, brought together governors from the 19 northern states and service chiefs to strategize on addressing the pervasive insecurity in the region. Recognizing the multifaceted nature of the challenge, stakeholders emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach encompassing both kinetic and non-kinetic measures to address the root causes of insecurity.

As the nation grapples with this harrowing ordeal, solidarity and cooperation among all stakeholders are paramount. The safety and well-being of the abducted students must be prioritized, and every effort must be exerted to ensure their swift and unharmed return. In confronting the scourge of insecurity, collective action, resilience, and unwavering determination are indispensable.

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