The 75 students at Government Day Secondary School Kaya in the Maradun district of Zamfara who were abducted on September 1, 2021 have regained their freedom.
A Nigerian television authority posted the news on a verified Facebook page last night.
According to Nigerian police, gunmen kidnapped more than 70 students in the northwestern state of Zamfara.
Zamfara State Police spokesman Mohamed Shehu said in a statement that a large group of assailants stormed a public high school in the remote village of Kaya on Wednesday morning and arrested the students. He said the number of children kidnapped were 73 people.
“The abduction followed the invasion of the school by large numbers of armed bandits,” he had stated.
Shehu said the police rescue teams were working closely with the military to secure the students’ release.
The bandits then returned five students within 24 hours.
A former Kaya municipal council member Yahaya Kaya said his niece was freed by bandits; added that the five students who were released had been returned to their hometowns of Kaya.
It remains unclear whether the ransom was paid before the students were released.
Following the kidnapping, the Zamfara state government ordered that the boarding houses in 30 schools be removed immediately.
In response to the September 3 abductions, UNICEF said it was shocked by another attack on an educational institution in Nigeria.
In a press release by the APO group, the UN agency said: “Of the abducted students, 23 fled and returned home – two of them with gunshot wounds. The kidnapped students were between 14 and 19 years old. ”
“We strongly condemn this attack, which comes just days after kidnapped students were released from a school in the north-central Nigerian,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s representative in Nigeria. “We urge the authorities to take swift action to save these students and reunite them with their families.”
“We reaffirm that attacks on schools and the abduction of students are grave violations of children’s rights and a terrible experience for children – which can have long-lasting effects on their mental health and general well-being,” said Peter Hawkins.
“Schools must be safe; no child should experience any harm because they went to school, and no parent should come to grief for sending their children to learn,” said Hawkins.