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Police confirm 317 Jangebe schoolgirls kidnapped

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The Nigerian police Friday said it has begun searching for the whereabouts of the 317 Jangebe schools kidnapped from their school.

The girls were kidnapped in the early hours of Friday from Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State.

The Zamfara Police Commissioner Abutu Yaro said a joint search and rescue operation is already underway with a view to rescuing them.

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This is the second kidnapping in less than a week happening in the northern part of the country, which has coincided with an increase in the use of armed groups leading to widespread and worsening security breakdowns.

An unidentified group last week carried out an overnight attack on a boarding school in Niger State and kidnapped 42 people, including 27 students. The hostages are still being held.

More than 300 boys were kidnapped from a school in December in Kankara, in Katsina State, while the president, Muhammadu Buhari, was in the state for a visitation.

Following negotiations with government officials, the boys were set free.

On Wednesday, a group of bandits has blamed its campaign of crimes and terror on the supposed inability of President Muhammadu Buhari to solve the problems faced by their community, insisting that the president must physically come to dialogue with its members.

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The group of bandits interviewed by Daily Trust also claimed it supported Buhari when he first became Nigeria’s president and that the president has not rewarded their gesture.

“We supported this administration and accepted dialogue because we thought Buhari will fix this country, but he won’t fix this country,” a masked bandit told Daily Trust.

“An agreement was reached, but you left that person in the forest with a gun and nothing to substitute. What do you expect? How do you want that person to survive? All the promises made to us none of it was fulfilled,” he said.

The bandit further criticised Buhari for not having allocation in the budget for the nomadic communities.

“During Abacha, there was allocation in the budget for the nomadic communities. There was no such thing again since Obasanjo became president. They stopped looking after the Fulanis. Their forests and grazing areas were taken over,” he said.

The country has continued to see a spike in insecurity recently. In the past few months, bandits have been carrying out series of attacks and kidnappings in northern Nigeria.

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Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, had met with some of the bandits in the forests of Zamfara, appealing for peace.

But in an interview with Daily Trust, a masked bandit said if Buhari could travel around the country when he was campaigning, nothing should stop him from coming for peace talks.

“The president should personally come and preside over the talks. When he was campaigning, he travelled all over, why would he not do it now? He does not take these peace talks seriously and everyday people are being killed.

The gangs who are driven by financial motives have no ideological leanings but security officials fear they are being infiltrated by jihadists from Nigeria’s northeast where the army is battling a decade-long Islamist insurgency.

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