The search by Nigerian police and army for 317 schoolgirls who were kidnapped yesterday, failed. The police commissioner in Zamfara province, northwest of the country, said there was “information” that they had been moved to a forest.
Parents now want to find themselves. “The government does not protect children. We, as parents of kidnapped children, agree to chase them in the woods,” Muhammad Othman told Reuters news agency. “We don’t listen to anyone until we save our children.” According to the father, seven students managed to escape.
Yesterday, gunmen raided the governmental preparatory school for girls in the town of Janjibi. It is unclear if they belong to a gang. The kidnappings have not been announced yet. Schoolchildren were also kidnapped 200 km away in December and earlier this month in Kajara in the south. The last group was released this morning, D. Governor governor Niger State.
Unidentified government officials say the increase in kidnappings is partly due to the money they make. President Muhammadu Buhari said the government does not pay a ransom to release students. Local authorities shouldn’t do that either, he says. Such policies can backfire with dire consequences. Buhari also believes that local authorities should improve safety around schools.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on the kidnappers to release the girls “immediately and unconditionally” and return them safely to their families.
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