In Burnin Yauri, Kebbi State Northwest Nigeria, an armed attack leading to a mass abduction has taken place in a school. On Thursday 17th June 2021, at the Federal Government College, a Policeman has been killed, and more than 80 students and 5 teachers have been abducted by armed attackers.
On Thursday, gunmen have raided the school and have taken more than 80 students, mostly girls, according to the schoolteacher, Usman Aliyu. Further describing the devastating situation, he has stated to the Reuters News agency that “they killed one of them (police officers), broke through the gate and went straight to the student’s classes”. Nafiu Abubakar, a spokesman for the Kebbi State police, has expressed that the killed policeman was shot dead when there was a fire exchange between the attackers and the police. Abubakar has also said that during this time, a student has also been shot – the student is currently receiving medical treatment.
Al-Jazeera reported that authorities have attributed the attack to ransom-seeking bandits. Further, Reuters News Agency reported that there have been two previous mass abductions in schools in Northwest Nigeria, carried out by armed gangs for ransom purposes. Since December, this situation has led to more than 800 students being abducted from their schools.
There is an ongoing rescue operation to save the abducted students and teachers. According to Nafiu Abubakar, security forces are currently searching a nearby forest. Reuters News Agency reported on 19th June 2021 that one kidnapped female student has been found dead, and five students and two teachers have been rescued by the Nigerian Army that is tracking the abductors. The spokesperson for the Nigerian Army, Onyema Nwachukwu, has stated that “troops are still on the heels of the kidnappers to rescue the remaining abductees still in captivity”.
Attacks on children and schools question the existence of humanity in the modern world. It is incomprehensible that humans can target children especially in schools where students should not have to fear for their safety. These targeted mass abductions of students should be investigated and condemned by governments and international organizations because protecting students should be a priority as they are our future. The human and education rights of students must be protected. Further, proactive action should be taken to ensure that future abductions of students in their schools are prevented. Hence, instead of mass abductions and horrific killings, diplomacy and non-violence should be embraced. By promoting peaceful solutions, we can ensure that students will not be violated of their right to accessing safe education.