Nigerian kidnappers demand ransom to release 80 school children


Parents of students kidnapped at Bethel Baptist High School are praying for their children to safely return around their misplaced shoes in Kaduna, Nigeria, on July 9, 2021. (Bosan Yakusak / Reuters)

Nigeria, Kaduna-The kidnappers are demanding a ransom of one million naira each to free about 80 children robbed from boarding schools in northern Nigeria last month, according to a minister involved in the liberation negotiations.

The attack on Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna is the 10th mass kidnapping in northwestern Nigeria since December, and authorities attribute it to criminal gangs seeking ransom payments.

“[The thief]wants a million naira for each of the 80 students remaining with them,” Rev. Ite Joseph Hayab told Reuters on the phone.

The kidnapper released 28 children last month after the first batch of 28 was released two days after the attack. However, another 81 people remain in captivity.

According to Hayab, three students fled before 28 were released last month, but were again kidnapped by an unidentified person in the forest who demanded a ransom and was paid more than one million naira by his parents.

Nigerian authorities have attributed the kidnapping to what is called an armed robbery seeking ransom payments.

Schools are the target of mass kidnappings by armed groups in northern Nigeria for ransom purposes. Such kidnappings in Nigeria were first carried out by the jihadist group Boko Haram and later by its sect, the Islamic State of West Africa, but this tactic is now being adopted by other criminal organizations. There is.