Around 80 children were snatched from a boarding school in northern Nigeria last month by kidnappers who are demanding a ransom of one million naira each, according to a pastor involved in the negotiations for their release.
Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna was the 10th mass school kidnapping in northwest Nigeria since December blamed on criminal gangs seeking ransom payments.
” Bandits are demanding one million naira from each of the 80 students they still have,” Reverend Ite Joseph Hayab said.
Last month, 28 children were released from kidnappers, after two days after a raid in which 28 kids were released. Another 81 remain in captivity
Earlier, Hayab said, three students escaped and were subsequently kidnapped by an unidentified person in the forest. The parents paid over a million naira as ransom for the kidnapped students.
Authorities in Nigeria attribute the kidnappings to armed bandits seeking ransom payments.
Armed groups in northern Nigeria have targeted schools for mass kidnappings for ransom. The jihadist group Boko Haram first organized such kidnappings in Nigeria, and later the Islamic State West Africa Province, but other criminal gangs have also taken up the tactic.