Murtala Muhammadu, 48, an area businessman in Tegina, a distant city in Niger State’s Rafi district, informed CNN on Tuesday that his 5-year-old son and three daughters aged 6 and seven had been among the many greater than 150 schoolchildren kidnapped from an Islamic night faculty by the armed assailants in Niger State.
“4 of my youngsters — three ladies and a boy — at the moment are in captivity,” Muhammadu stated.
In response to state police officers, at the least one particular person was killed in the course of the raid, the newest in a string of college kidnappings within the nation this yr.
Kidnapping for ransom stays a significant safety problem in Nigeria. Tons of of scholars have been kidnapped in several incidents within the northern a part of the nation since December.
Scenes of chaos
Abubakar Alhassan, the varsity headteacher, described the scenes of chaos because the assailants burst into the varsity compound, which homes a nursery, major and junior secondary faculty.
“It was earlier than we began for the day and the gates had been locked, in order that they received in by the window of the varsity.”
They later broke the gate and stormed the varsity inflicting panic as terrified youngsters locked themselves in rooms, whereas others fled, Alhassan stated.
“Some youngsters ran and locked themselves inside among the places of work however nonetheless the bandits took away greater than 150 out of 303 pupils,” he added.
Alhassan’s two youngsters, aged 6 and 10, had been additionally amongst these taken in addition to one male and two feminine lecturers, he stated.
He added that greater than 100 of his pupils in captivity are aged between 4 and 5 years outdated. The establishment is an Islamic faculty known as an Islamiyya, for boys’ and ladies’ education within the evenings and studying primary spiritual teachings.
A warning of the assault
Muhammadu informed CNN that information about an impending assault on Tegina by armed males had been circulating earlier than the raid.
“I used to be standing in entrance of my home when somebody informed me that there is a rumor going round that bandits … are possible planning to assault our neighborhood. We had been suggested to correctly watch over our respective households,” Muhammadu stated.
Muhammadu described the second the attackers stormed Tegina on Sunday afternoon and opened fireplace at random.
“Instantly we noticed them coming into our neighborhood. They handed in entrance of my home at round 3:30 p.m. with out saying a phrase to anybody … and proceeded to a gas station. Then they began capturing,” he added.
The daddy’s worst fears had been confirmed when he obtained a name informing him that solely 4 of his eight youngsters had returned house from faculty.
A spokeswoman for Niger State Authorities, Mary Noel-Berje, informed CNN on Monday that at the least 11 of the kids kidnapped in the course of the raid had been later freed, due to their age.
“Eleven youngsters had been launched due to their tenderness … the little or no ones that could not undergo the bush path, the abductors’ escape route, had been launched,” Noel-Berje stated.
Niger State Deputy Governor, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, informed a information convention Monday that the federal government had made contact with some mother and father of the recognized kidnapped youngsters to guarantee them of their secure return.
“We do not pay ransom to abductors. We try to barter to see how we are able to carry them again safely,” Ketso added.