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Bandits attack Zamfara school, abduct students, teachers

ARMED bandits have attacked the Government Girls Secondary School, Moriki, in Zurü local government area of Zamfara State, kidnapping several students and teachers, BBC Hausa is reporting.

A resident of the area told the BBC that the attack took place while they were watching the Champions League match between Liverpool football club of England and Barcelona football club of Spain on Wednesday night.

He said the attackers just opened fire in the community, killing one man, and abducting two teachers and four nursing students. The source added that the attackers could not get to the dormitory where majority of the students were sleeping.

This is the second time hoodlums would be attacking a secondary school and abducting students in President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term in office, in spite of the administration’s claim of having improved security across the country.

The first was in February 2018 when 110 school girls were abducted by Boko Haram from their school dormitory in Dapchi, Yobe State. Some of the girls, numbering 104, were released a month later following negotiations between the government and Boko Haram, but five of the girls died in custody while one, Leah Sharibu, is still being held because she refused to convert to Islam.

It now seems the insecurity has crept into the North West region as bandits, for some time now, operate almost freely in Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina States, killing people, destroying property and rustling cattle.

Ahmad Salkida, a journalist that has extensively covered the insecurity situation in Northern Nigeria, said some Boko Haram factions, as well as members of the Islamic State in the West African Province (ISWAP), were gradually infiltrating the North Western region.

Nigerian authorities continue to claim that security has been beefed up in the trouble areas, but it appears the situation remains the same.

In a tweet on Tuesday, April 30, Salkida said, “Zamfara in the last 7 days, like the week before it, reveals how the Military and the armed groups are engaged in a cat and mouse game. Human life remains short and brutish, as about 100 people were abducted and over 30 killed in the past week alone.”

On that same Tuesday, Bandits attacked Gobirawa and Sabawa villages in Safana LGA of Katsina State, killing 10 people and looting an unspecified number of cattle, according to Nnamdi Obasi, a member of the International Crisis Group.

Earlier on Monday, the Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Muhammed Mahmood, was kidnapped along the Abuja-Kaduna road, alongside his daughter and other travellers. At least one person − Mahmood’s driver − was killed in the attack. Mahmood and his daughter were released on Tuesday but it is not clear whether a ransom was paid to secure their release.

On Wednesday, gunmen attacked Daura, President Buhari’s hometown, and abducted the district head of the town, Musa Umar, who is also the father-in-law to Buhari’s Aide de Camp (ADC). He is still in captivity by Thursday morning.

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