EXPLAINER: Why Nigeria’s Schools Are Abduction Targets


June 3, 2021

FILE - In this Monday, March 1, 2021 file photo, empty desks and chairs are seen at the Government Girls Secondary School where more than 300 girls were abducted by gunmen on Friday, in Jangebe town, Zamfara state, northern Nigeria. Schools in northern Nigeria are on high alert after the kidnappings at the Salihu Tanko Islamic School in Niger state on Sunday, May 30, 2021 marked the latest in a long spate of violent abductions carried out for ransom this year by unknown attackers in the north. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen have attacked another school in northern Nigeria, this time grabbing children as young as 3 before abandoning the youngest ones in the forest when they could not keep up with the group on foot.

The kidnappings at the Salihu Tanko Islamic School in Niger state on Sunday mark the latest student abductions carried out for ransom this year in the north. Some victims have been university students but others like the children this week are elementary school aged.

After one harrowing abduction, the kidnappers killed five students from Greenfield University in Kaduna state after their parents failed to meet hostage demands. Here is a closer look at the mounting crisis in Africa’s most populous nation, which is fueling criticism of the government’s response:


Nigeria gained international attention back in 2014 when Islamic extremists from the Boko Haram group abducted 276 girls in Chibok, prompting the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign. The young women were forced to convert to Islam and marry their abductors, many bearing children. While some escaped, more than 100 remain missing seven years later.

Then in 2018, a Boko Haram breakaway group known as ISWAP kidnapped 110 girls from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College in Dapchi. Five girls were trampled to death inside the crowded vehicle used by the jihadists. A Christian young woman named Leah Sharibu is still being held while the other girls taken in that incident have been released.

In the years since there have been a number of abductions for ransom, though there has been a marked spike in attacks since the beginning of 2021. At least five mass school abductions have now been reported in north since February.


Nigerian authorities so far have only blamed “bandits” for carrying out the latest wave of kidnappings in the north. Some believe they are former cattle herders who have developed in well organized armed groups specializing in abductions for ransom.

The kidnappers behind the Greenfield University attack earlier this month released a video of the students they were holding hostage, but those responsible did not identify themselves. A ransom was demanded, but the the bandits did not outline any extremist beliefs.

Authorities, though, fear there could be links between these bandits in the northwest and the Islamic extremists who have long been active in Nigeria’s northeast. U.S. officials say that an American man kidnapped in Niger across the border from northwestern Nigeria was going to be handed off to the extremists in the northeast before he was ultimately rescued, suggesting the groups may be in touch with one another.

The kidnappers are also using some techniques long employed by jihadist groups, including making videos of their captives. And the gunmen who attacked the Greenfield University campus later killed five of the hostages after parents failed to meet their ransom request. The others were later freed and found wandering on a highway.


Nigerian media have reported that parents of the Greenfield University students were negotiating a ransom payment with the gunmen, though the amount has not been made public.

Although authorities deny paying ransoms, the government is often known to enter lengthy negotiations with armed groups after mass abductions of school children. When the children regain their freedom, authorities often claim they were rescued by the military or that the captives were released voluntarily.

Many Nigerians do not believe these accounts, and media outlets have reported huge sums of money being paid as ransom for the release of schoolchildren including the Chibok schoolgirls. Some senior Boko Haram commanders are said to have been released from prison as part of the deal to free the Chibok girls. The government has denied these allegations.


“The schools especially in the remote areas are poorly secured and so it is easy for gunmen to walk in and take as many school children as possible,” said Ernest Ereke, a senior lecturer at the University of Abuja.

Some of the attacks have taken place at night at boarding schools, when fewer staff are on campus.

Nigeria’s military is also stretched thin fighting the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, and many police forces lack the capacity to provide security.


There are fears many parents will now withdraw their children from schools in the face of growing insecurity. The states in northern Nigeria already have the lowest rates of literacy in the country and the spate of recent abductions has seriously affected the government’s efforts to encourage parents to send their children to school.

Analysts fear this in turn could only further support for Islamic extremism in the long run. The low level of education in both regions is blamed for the high level of poverty and the large number of uneducated youths who are ready recruits for extremist groups and armed gangs in the regions.

No comments

Thank you for reaching out to us. We are happy to receive your opinion and request. If you are need advert or sponsored post, We’re excited you’re considering advertising or sponsoring a post on our blog. Your support is what keeps us going. With the current trend, it’s very obvious content marketing is the way to go. Banner advertising and trying to get customers through Google Adwords may get you customers but it has been proven beyond doubt that Content Marketing has more lasting benefits.
We offer majorly two types of advertising:
1. Sponsored Posts: If you are really interested in publishing a sponsored post or a press release, video content, advertorial or any other kind of sponsored post, then you are at the right place.
Generally, a sponsored post can be any of the following:
Press release
Video content
This kind of post is usually written to promote you or your business. However, we do prefer posts that naturally flow with the site’s general content. This means we can also promote artists, songs, cosmetic products and things that you love of all products or services.
Every sponsored article will remain live on the site as long as this website exists. The duration is indefinite! Again, we will share your post on our social media channels and our email subscribers too will get to read your article. You’re exposing your article to our: Twitter followers, Facebook fans and other social networks.

We will also try as much as possible to optimize your post for search engines as well.

Submission of Materials : Sponsored post should be well written in English language and all materials must be delivered via electronic medium. All sponsored posts must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail on Microsoft Word unless otherwise noted.
The price largely depends on if you’re writing the content or we’re to do that. But if your are writing the content, it is $60 per article.

2. Banner Advertising: We also offer banner advertising in various sizes and of course, our prices are flexible. you may choose to for the weekly rate or simply buy your desired number of impressions.

Technical Details And Pricing
Banner Size 300 X 250 pixels : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Banner Size 728 X 90 pixels: Appears on the top right Corner of the homepage and all pages on the site.
Large rectangle Banner Size (336x280) : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Small square (200x200) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Half page (300x600) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Portrait (300x1050) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Billboard (970x250) : Appears on the home page.

Submission of Materials : Banner ads can be in jpeg, jpg and gif format. All materials must be deliverd via electronic medium. All ads must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail in the ordered pixel dimensions unless otherwise noted.
For advertising offers, send an email with your name,company, website, country and advert or sponsored post you want to appear on our website to omodjk(at)gmail(dot)com

Normally, we should respond within 48 hours.

Sponsored Partner's Advertisement