Free all missing and kidnapped Nigerian school children

Free all missing and kidnapped Nigerian school children

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Jamie Bloomberg started this petition to Everyone

Friday's kidnapping of nearly 300 students from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara state, which ended with their release , was the second mass kidnap from schools in less than 10 days. Twenty-seven boys and their teachers who were taken from a school in Kagara, Niger state on 17 February were released on Saturday.

The authorities say recent attacks on schools in the north-west have been carried out by "bandits", a loose term for kidnappers, armed robbers, cattle rustlers, Fulani herdsmen and other armed militia operating in the region who are largely motivated by money.

Many here believe that a weak security infrastructure and governors who have little control over security in their states - the police and army are controlled by the federal government - and have resorted to paying ransoms, have made mass abductions a lucrative source of income.

It is an accusation the governors deny. Zamfara governor Bello Matawalle, who in the past has promised "repentant" bandits with houses, money and cars, said people "not comfortable [with his] peace initiative" were sabotaging his efforts to end the crisis.

Until now, kidnap victims have generally been road travellers in Nigeria's north-west, who pay between $20 and $200,000 for their freedom, but since the well-publicised abduction in 2014 of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok secondary school by Boko Haram Islamist militants in Borno state, more armed groups have resorted to mass abduction of students.

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