March 3, 2021


On early Friday morning, hundreds of girls were taken in a school girl abduction conducted in northwest Nigeria in the Zamfara state. A group of armed men attacked a state-operated school in the area. The Nigerian government was quick to announce the devastation in order to find the children and bring them home safely.

Details of the Schoolgirl Abduction

The armed men raided the hostels of the secondary school in Jangebe. High-ranking government officials acted swiftly, but it was not quick enough to prevent the abduction. No girls were killed in the attack, but a police officer did lose his life. Nigerian spokespeople have revealed no details about the police officer for legal purposes.

The gunmen arrived on 20 motorcycles at 1:45 am while everyone was sleeping. They abducted the girls and made them move towards the forest in the area. The armed crew was gone by 3 am. There is a military checkpoint that is less than a mile from the school.

The kidnappers were present at the Government Girls’ Secondary School for over an hour, but the military did not respond. This fact has caused disgust in the Nigerian government because this incident could have been stopped. The military did not rise to the occasion in the early hours of Friday.

Five hundred students were in their rooms at the school when the gunmen arrived. It’s believed that the abductors took around 315 girls, but the exact number is not yet known. The girls who were not taken escaped by hiding or returning to their hostels as the gunmen swept the buildings.

The Response

A detailed statement is expected to be released as Nigerian officials investigate the situation on Friday. As the day developed, the Nigerian government did announce that a heavily armed search crew had been released to rescue the schoolgirls.

The workers of the school were horrified, but the parents of the abducted girls are struggling immensely. Jummai Haruna, a mother of one of the kidnapped girls, stated that “I miss her so much already. Nobody has told me anything about her whereabouts of my daughter. She has always been with me. Her father died when I was still pregnant with her. Now I don’t what to do.”

The consensus amongst the parents is pure disappointment and fear. They are upset that the school and the military were not there to defend their children. At this point, all the parents can do is wait to see if the rescue crew can find their daughters.

Comments from Global Organizations

Amnesty International labeled the attack at Government Girls’ Secondary School as a “war crime.” A similar attack took place two weeks ago in a state school in the middle portion of Nigeria. Early assessments have revealed that the attackers could be by the same insurrection group.

In this attack, 27 students were abducted, and one was killed. These children have still not been identified, so Friday’s episode may not be solved quickly. School kidnappings have been occurring for years in Nigeria. Leaders in the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund condemned the attackers and are now trying to help solve the issue.

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