Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Gunmen on motorbikes stormed a primary school in the northwestern Nigerian state of Kaduna and kidnapped three teachers but no children, a state official said on Monday after the fifth school abduction in three months.

It was the first attack on an elementary school in a wave of such attacks in which more than 700 people have been abducted since December.

Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna state’s commissioner for internal security, said in a press briefing that Rema Primary School, in the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area, was attacked at around 8:50 a.m. (0750 GMT) on Monday.

Story continues below advertisement

He said children fled as gunmen, referred to locally as bandits, entered the compound shortly after pupils arrived.

“This led to two pupils going missing. We are happy to inform you that the two missing pupils have been found,” Aruwan said. “We can also confirm that no single pupil was kidnapped from the school.

“The government can confirm that three teachers … have been kidnapped.”

Nigeria’s kidnapping scourge began with the seizure of 270 girls from a school in the northeastern town of Chibok by the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram in 2014. Around 100 of the schoolgirls have never been found.

Armed criminal gangs in Nigeria’s widely lawless north have since carried out many copycat attacks seeking ransom.

The presidency said late in February that President Muhammadu Buhari had urged state governments to “review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles, warning that the policy might boomerang disastrously.”

Attempts by the military and police to tackle the gangs have had little success, while many worry that state authorities are making the situation worse by letting kidnappers go unpunished, paying them off or providing incentives.

Story continues below advertisement

Nigeria’s federal government has said it will “take out” abductors after criticizing local deals to free victims.

A presidency spokesman said he did not have the details of Monday’s kidnapping.

Armed men attempted to kidnap more students in Kaduna state overnight on Sunday, as 39 others from an earlier attack in the state remain missing.

The rampant banditry has become a political problem for Buhari, a retired general and former military ruler who has faced mounting criticism over the rise in violent crime, and replaced his long-standing military chiefs earlier this year.

Buhari held talks with security officials and regional elders last week about Nigeria’s multiple security challenges. Afterwards, national security adviser Babagana Monguno said the government would take a tough stance against criminal gangs.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies