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HomeCrimeMass Kidnappings of Children Stun Nigerian Security Forces in Two Regions

Mass Kidnappings of Children Stun Nigerian Security Forces in Two Regions

Former Trump Administration Official Warns that Rampant ‘Kidnapping for Ransom is Trafficking’

By Mike Odeh Akatu

[Kaduna] Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State has visited Kuriga, the village in Birnin Gwari,  where more than 270 school children were kidnapped by terrorists on Thursday, March 7.

Governor Sani went to Kuriga in the evening on the day of the kidnapping  where he  vowed to leave no stone unturned till the school children are found.

Writing on his x ( formerly twitter) the Governor stated, “With pain in my heart, I visited Kuriga, Chikun Local Government, where bandits kidnapped primary and secondary school pupils and students, to commiserate with members of the community and assure them that all steps are been taken to ensure the safe return of the pupils and students,” he wrote on his X account.

Approximately 270 pupils from Primary and Secondary schools were kidnapped by Fulani radical Islamic terrorists on Thursday, 7, 2024 in the precinct of Kuriga in Chikun County, Kaduna State, Truthnigeria has learned.

Local sources told TruthNigeria that the abductions likely were carried out by Fulani radical Islamic terrorists working for kidnap kingpin Dogo Gide, whose network reportedly includes as many as 2,000 armed mercenaries.  The region of Birnin Gwari, which borders Niger State, is a terrorist hub and a known refuge for the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgency known as Ansaru and the Islamic State groups known as Boko Haram (Western Learning Forbidden) and Islamic State of West Africa. 

“It’s not surprising that 200 people were kidnapped,” according to Rev. Polycarp Garba, an Abuja-based columnist who analyzes terrorism in the northwestern states.  

“The town is isolated, and like most rural areas in Nigeria is an ungoverned space with practically zero government presence,” Garba said.

Today’s shocking news comes as the United Nations confirmed a report by Nigerian media that more than 200 girls and women were kidnapped Feb. 28 by terrorists linked to Boko Haram in Borno State.  “The bad actors were either Boko Haram, or Islamic State of West Africa, or people representing themselves as such,” said David Otto, a London-based security expert to TruthNigeria. “Sex trafficking is part of it, since a lot of the young fighters want wives,” Otto said. 

Kidnappers Struck Early in Kaduna at Kuriga Village

One of the teachers at the kidnapping March 7 in Birnin Gwari,  Malam Abdullahi Adamu Kuriga, told TruthNigeria that the kidnapper struck at exactly 8:46 in the morning .

“The students were at the assembly ground, reciting the national anthem, while the pupils from the primary school had gone to their classes already .

‘The terrorists who numbered  45 or more came on motorbikes. Many rode on their  bikes singularly instead of two on a bike .

One teacher, Ahmed Bello,  was shot, and rushed to Birnin Gwari General Hospital. The terrorists headed toward Niger State via the forests and hills , Kuriga told TruthNigeria. 

Garba Fodio, a resident of Kuriga, said that the terrorists  had invaded the community in January 2024 killing the Principal in January .

According to Fodio, the bandit terrorists are gradually taking over the economy of the whole farming community. “Since January this year, we have been  witnessing Fulani Islamic terrorist activities, and so we knew that they would come. Sometimes, they would come and take away our crops in our farms  and sometimes, we would allow their cattle to graze on our farmlands,” Fodio said. 

Despite a Nigerian army campaign this year  to take the war on crime to the Fulani Islamic terrorist who number as many as 30,000 in Nigeria’s northwestern states, the kidnappers in Chikun County have boldly struck neighborhoods near the city with impunity. Hundreds of residents of the suburb of Gonin Gora blocked the Kaduna-Abuja expressway on Feb. 29 to protest the unexplained failure of Nigerian military to aid the town from an attack by 60 Fulani Islamic terrorists who went methodically for 4 hours to break into residences without an appearance of the miliary stationed just a mile away

U.S. Complicity in Slave Trade

Former Assistant Secretary of State Robert Destro (above): “The U.S. Government has known that kidnapping for ransom is a major problem in Nigeria, but has done little to encourage the Nigerian Government to create effective, local police forces.” photo by Douglas Burton
Former Assistant Secretary of State Robert Destro (above): “The U.S. Government has known that kidnapping for ransom is a major problem in Nigeria, but has done little to encourage the Nigerian Government to create effective, local police forces.” photo by Douglas Burton

The egregious failure of the Nigerian government to provide effective local police protection for its citizens reflects badly on its ally, the United States, according to law professor Robert Destro, a former assistant secretary of State during the Trump Administration.

“The U.S. Government has known for years that kidnapping for ransom is a major problem in Nigeria, but it has done little to use its considerable influence to encourage the Nigerian Government to create effective, local police forces,” Destro told TruthNigeria. “Our government spends over $1.2 billion in Nigeria on social and economic assistance and hundreds of millions more for counter-terrorism and military training,” he went on to say. 

“Is it too much to expect our diplomats to work with the Nigerian Government to ensure that the money is used to protect Nigerians from slave traders?” Destro asked. “Kidnapping for ransom is human trafficking.  A government that lets it happen is facilitating human trafficking. And when the U.S. supports that government with billions in assistance without demanding that at least part of it be used to train and equip local police, we are complicit in that slave trade,” Destro said. “Our government needs to stop making excuses for the kidnappers and help the Nigerians to stop them.”

The dark news of today’s kidnapping struck the founder of TruthNigeria as portentous. “Nigeria is the only country in the world where people can get kidnapped by the hundreds with no resistance whatsoever. This is either due to an underfunded and poorly managed security infrastructure, or the people in charge of the security are complicit,” said Judd Saul, the CEO of TruthNigeria as well as the Founder of Equipping the Persecuted, an NGO.  
“This insanity needs to stop now, and I beg the Nigerian leadership to take action instead of blowing faux outrage.”

Mike Odeh Akatu is a conflict reporter for TruthNigeria in Kaduna.

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