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Around 300 Abducted Students Released Following a Terrifying Two-Week Ordeal

Source: AP

Around 300 students and staff members who were kidnapped by gunmen in Kaduna State, Nigeria, have been safely released following a terrifying two-week ordeal, as confirmed by Kaduna State Governor Uba Sani.

The abduction of the 300 students was the worst mass kidnapping in the nation since over 150 students were kidnapped from Kaduna School in 2021.

Governor Uba Sani did not provide any details of the release. In his statement, he thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) “for prioritising the safety and security of Nigerians and particularly ensuring that the abducted Kuriga school children are released unharmed.”

He also mentioned the National Security Adviser, Mal.Nuhu Ribadu, for his exemplary leadership. “I spent sleepless nights with Mal. Ribadu fine-tuning strategies and coordinating the operations of the security agencies, which eventually resulted in this successful outcome,"  he added. 

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has responded to the news of the release of the Kuriga School children with a post on X. He said, “This re-emphasises the importance of collaboration between the federal government and states for expected outcomes, especially on matters of security.”

“The National Security Adviser, the Security Agencies, and the Kaduna State Government must be commended for the dispatch and diligence with which they handled this situation. It is clear that incipient urgency, meticulous attention, and tireless dedication are critical to optimal outcomes in cases of mass abductions.” He added. 

He assured Nigerians that his administration is deploying detailed strategies to ensure that their schools remain safe sanctuaries of learning, not lairs for wanton abductions.

According to military spokesman Major General Edward Buba, 137 hostages—76 women and 61 men—were freed early on Sunday in the neighboring state of Zamfara.

Locals in Kaduna suspect bandit gangs, even though the kidnappers are still at large. These gangs are well-known in the war-torn north for their savagery and kidnappings for ransom, having been founded primarily by former herders involved in recurring disputes with farming communities. 

Jubril Aminu, a community leader serving as a spokesman for the families of the hostages, reported to CNN about receiving a call from the abductors on his phone and demanding 1 billion naira ($621,848) as a ransom for the students. “They said [the ultimatum] will only last for three weeks, or 20 days, from the date they kidnapped the children, and if there’s no action from the government, they will kill all of them.” 

The abductors said the kidnapping was “a way of getting back at the government and security agencies for killing their gang members.” he added

“On the continued war against terrorism, insurgency, and violent extremism... We will not be deterred.” President Tinubu said on X


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