Kaduna, Nigeria — A kidnapper who kidnapped more than 100 students from a boarding school in Kaduna, Nigeria, warned that children could starve unless their parents fed them, parents and Kaduna said. The head of the Duna Baptist Conference said Wednesday.
Baptist officials said about 125 students were missing, at least 28, after an overnight raid on Bethel Baptist High School, where the 10th mass school was kidnapped since December in northwestern Nigeria earlier this week. Said he had reunited with his family.
The missing parents told Reuters that the kidnapper promised that the children would be safe if they delivered rice, beans, palm oil, salt and stock cubes. They said the kidnapper told them that the ransom demand would continue.
“Search and rescue operations are underway and we strongly believe that these students will soon and safely return to their parents,” Rev. IA Jangad said in a statement.
Baptist priests also confirmed food demand.
Nigerian officials have attributed the kidnapping to what is called an armed robbery seeking ransom payments.
Humanitarian agencies have warned that increased abductions in schools are disrupting the education of hundreds of thousands of Nigerian children.
UNICEF of the United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that more than 1,120 schools are closed in northwestern Nigeria. Even where schools are open, some parents are too afraid to send their children. According to UNICEF, about 300,000-400,000 students in the area are out of school due to anxiety.
Kidnapping for ransom is also increasing outside of school. Gunmen kidnapped two nurses in an early morning raid at Kaduna Hospital on Sunday. One is with a one year old child.
Kaduna parliamentarian Yakububalde warned that some bandits were kidnapping medical workers to treat them in the camp because two nurses were kidnapped in April. ..