Investors Scared As Gunmen Kidnapped Over 150 Students In Niger State Again

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CBN

Olusola Bello

Government’s inability to find solution to constant kidnapping of students is sending investors away thereby compounding the socio economic problems plaguing the country.

This development is coming on the heel of another horrible experience on Sunday, in which gunmen kidnapped over 150 students from an Islamic school in Niger State – the latest in a series of such attacks on schools.

Investors are scare stiff because of the tension created by this act being perpetrated unchecked by bandits, Fulani herdsmen, armed robbers while government is looking helpless.

A good number of schools have been closed over the issue of insecurity just as many food vendors and other suppliers of services to the schools have been forced to abandon their businesses.

This has continuously threatened the economic development of the country and is a big setback for the educational advancement of the country.

The issue of insecurity has been a major threat to investment in the country. Investors both in and outside the country who are scared of this situation have turned their backs against the country.

Authorities in Niger State confirmed to the BBC that gunmen had seized an unknown number of students from the school in the town of Tegina on Sunday.

A teacher told the BBC that 150 students were missing, while other reports put the figure at about 200.

Since December, more than 600 students have been abducted from schools in north-west Nigeria, highlighting a worrying development in the country’s kidnap-for-ransom crisis.

Not too long a go nearly 300 students were kidnapped from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara state.  Twenty-seven boys and their teachers were taken from a school in Kagara, Niger state  but were  released on 17 February.

The authorities say recent attacks on schools in the north-west have been carried out by “bandits”, a loose term for kidnappers, armed robbers, cattle rustlers, Fulani herdsmen and other armed militia operating in the region who are largely motivated by money.

 

Abductions carried out for ransom are increasingly common in northern states.

In the latest incident, witnesses quoted by ThisDay news website said gunmen riding on motorcycles stormed the town and opened fire indiscriminately. As people fled the attackers went to the Islamic school and seized the children. The school is attended by boys and girls, aged six to 18.

Authorities said two people were shot during the attack and one had since died. A number of people travelling in a car were also reportedly kidnapped.

BBC Nigeria correspondent Mayeni Jones says kidnapping for ransom has become more common across Nigeria in recent months.

The attack in Tegina comes a day after 14 people kidnapped from a university in the neighbouring state of Kaduna were released.

Students kidnapped from a private university in Kaduna in April were freed last weekend.

Tegina is also not far from the town of Kagara, where 27 students were abducted in February.

There have been at least six kidnappings of students in north-west and central Nigeria since December, our correspondent says, and more than 800 students and staff have been abducted.

The 2014 kidnap of 276 schoolgirls in the north-eastern town of Chibok by Islamist militants Boko Haram brought global attention to the scourge of raids on schools in Nigeria, but more recent attacks are suspected to be the work of criminal gangs.

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