ABUJA – Nigeria security on Sunday rescued 80 more students kidnapped by gunmen in northwest Katsina state. The kidnapping and rescue came just days after gunmen released more than 300 schoolboys from a week in captivity and underscores serious concerns about security in the region.
The Islamiyya school students, mostly girls were ambushed in the Dandume local government area of Northwestern Katsina state Saturday during a school procession to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed.
The military said it rescued all the students including four others held by the bandits on Sunday and recovered 12 cows.
But the attack comes in the wake of the brazen recent kidnapping and release of more than 300 students in the state, which drew global condemnation.
Eze Onyekpere, founder of nonprofit Center for Social Justice says attacks are a sign of growing insecurity in Nigeria.
“It is clear from what is happening the security architecture has actually collapsed and by the international ratings I think Nigeria is the third most dangerous place to live on planet Earth. We have a situation where kidnappings, banditry and terrorism activities are the order of the day,” he said.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari continues to assure citizens of his promise to end insecurity. Last Friday, he met with hundreds of schoolboys recently freed by bandits and encouraged them to see beyond what they had been through.
But while many praise his Cabinet for the quick rescue and release of the abductees, security experts and owner of Online Security Magazine, The Global Sentinel, Senator Iroegbu says the government needs to change tactics.
“We are having a false sense of security when you have military deployed, that’s why anytime there is unrest you easily deploy military, you’re killing our security, you are removing the attention that should paid to strengthen those our internal security of operators. Military is supposed to play a supportive role when it comes to internal security,” he said.
This month, Nigerian lawmakers urged President Buhari to dismiss security chiefs over the insecurity in the country.
Onyekpere agrees and says the president has been slow to act.
“It reached a situation where it is clear for everyone to see that the leadership of the security agencies are not up to speed, they don’t have the qualities, the competence and the capacity to tackle this level of insurgency. A government that cannot protect lives and properties is not a government,” he said.
The Nigerian military in 2016 declared it had significantly degraded the militant group Boko Haram, predominantly operating in the northeast.
But experts say the group is growing its network and expanding its collaborations with bandit groups in the Northwest.
Source: Voice of America