More than 50 kidnapped people released after bus attack in western Nigeria


Nigerian authorities have announced the release of more than 50 people abducted last week in the western state of Niger, the scene days after an assault on a school that resulted in the death of a student and 42 abducted, including 27 schoolchildren.

The governor of Niger, Abubakar Sani Bello, on Monday was “delighted to receive” the 53 kidnapped in a bus in an attack on the road that connects the towns of Minna and Zungeru, according to a message posted on his account in the social network Twitter.

Sani Bello, who has blamed what happened to “bandits”, added that the Nigerian authorities “are doing everything possible to achieve the release of the kidnapped students at the Government Science School in Kagara and that they return safely to their parents” .

The director of the center, Aliyu Isah, highlighted on February 17 that in addition to the 27 students, three teachers and twelve relatives of the center’s workers were kidnapped, before confirming that the assailants arrived at the dormitories after breaking into his apartment and forcing him to show them the way.

The governor of Niger himself confirmed that same day the authenticity of the video published by an armed group to claim responsibility for the kidnapping of the occupants of the bus and stressed that his government “will not pay ransoms to achieve the release of the hostages.”

“It is not in the government’s policy to pay ransoms, given that bandits use the money to buy sophisticated weapons and cause more damage,” he explained, while asking the central government to “deploy all the necessary resources” to achieve free the hostages.

The attack on the aforementioned school took place less than three months after the kidnapping of hundreds of students from a school in the town of Kankara, located in the state of Katsina (north). All of them were later released after a negotiation process.

These incidents have brought to mind the abduction in April 2014 of 276 girls from a school in Chibok, in Borno state, of which 112 still remain unaccounted for and 164 were released. The kidnapping caused a wave of convictions, not only at the national level, but also at the international level and generated a movement, #BringBackOurGirls, which continues to this day and which supports the families of the victims.

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