Dec, 17th 2020 – More states in northern Nigeria have ordered all schools to close following last week’s kidnapping of hundreds of pupils in Katsina state. More than 300 children are still missing, raising fears for the safety of other schools, especially those in remote areas.
The Islamist militant group Boko Haram however said it was behind the raid. The Nigerian Union of Teachers has threatened a nationwide strike, unless the government urgently improves the security situation.
The Union said that pupils and teachers are now being actively targeted by kidnappers and gunmen. They say that the attack is a reminder of previous raids where dozens of girls from Chibok, in Nothern Borno state were abducted by jihadists and are still missing six years later.
According to witnesses, the armed men stormed in the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara town at around 21:30 hours on Friday and as gunshots were heard, many students jumped over the fence.
According to those who escaped, many were tracked by the gunmen who tricked them into believing that they were security personnel. They were then marched into the forest by the armed men.
Nigerian authorities say that they have been in contact with the kidnappers in the recent attack but there are no details of the discussion.
On Twitter, Aminu Bello Masari governor of Katsina State said, “Talks are ongoing to ensure the pupils’ safety and return to their respective families.”
In a four minute recording, the jihadist group issued its claim of responsibility.