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Students’ kidnappings kill education in Nigeria

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A signboard of the Government Girls Secondary School is pictured after over 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped by bandits in Jangebe, a village in Zamfara State, northwest of Nigeria on February 27, 2021. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Education as we generally know is the best legacy one can gift his or her children because it guides attitudes, leads to good activities and help the entire society live cordially with one another. Educational sector has been the engine room of all other sectors but of recent it suffers setback caused by debilitating, exasperating and humongous incessant kidnappings carried out by bandits. The first incident of students’ mass abduction occurred in 2014 when over 200 students of Government Girls Secondary School Chibok were kidnapped by insurgents.

From that time, academic activities especially in secondary schools are carried out in phobia and uncertainties of where would be the next target. Parents in rural areas that were forced to enroll children into schools are using students’ abduction as excuse for preventing them from going. Teachers that often sacrifice their times and efforts in teaching students are now left to the mercy of God because securities stationed in schools often times take to their heels whenever kidnappers come to cart-away students.

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Increase in students’ kidnappings has become a big threat to the future of students, because illiterates are considered like a body without a life. A security analyst with Daily Trust, Bulama Bukarti once said: ‘‘Kidnappings for ransom has become so normalised and institutionalised that it now bears the mark of legal enterprise.’’ His view goes in line with the  kidnapping indices stated by Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, during press briefing in commemoration of 2021 International Women’s Day. She said that 1,157 students were kidnapped in seven years.

In the same vein, Commissioner of Information in Zamfara State, Mr. Ibrahim Dosara, stated that ‘‘from the available records, over 2,169 people were killed between 2011 and 2019, 1,190 people kidnapped by bandits and the sum of N970 million was paid as ransom.’’ This is just for one state apart from Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto and others that are yet to be ascertained. Kidnapping is majorly caused by many factors which include unemployment: every year, thousands of students graduate from higher institutions without any tangible job or capital for businesses.

The second factor is the excessive love of money and luxuries; people nowadays wish to live the life of their dreams without any hardship, they take risk by indulging in all activities including kidnapping just to get money. Kidnappers’ maltreatment to students in captivities makes them no longer interested in studies after gaining freedom.

To end kidnappings in its entirety, governments should employ or enroll kidnappers that laid their weapons into skills. If arrested kidnappers are found guilty, they should be punished according to the provisions of the law irrespective of who they are or know.

Mukhtar Garba Kobi.

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