Three mass kidnappings of students in less than three weeks have raised concerns about the security of educational institutions in Nigeria under the new administration of President Bola Tinubu.
On September 22, gunmen invaded the Federal University Gusau in Zamfara State and kidnapped 24 female students. Security forces reportedly rescued thirteen students, but 11 remain in captivity.
Less than two weeks later, on October 4, suspected terrorists attacked the Federal University in Katsina and kidnapped five female students.
And on October 10, gunmen kidnapped four students from Nasarawa State University.
The three kidnappings occurred within 19 days, raising alarms among parents, teachers, and student bodies. They are also a major test for the Tinubu administration, which took office on May 29, 2023 and promised to end the spate of insecurity across the country.
41 students have been kidnapped under the Tinubu administration, even though some of the captives have been rescued. This figure is in addition to the 204 students abducted in 16 incidents since the beginning of 2023.
The kidnappings have had a chilling effect on education in Nigeria. Many parents are afraid to send their children to school, and some schools have been forced to close.
The Tinubu administration has pledged to secure schools and prevent future kidnappings. However, whether it can deliver on this promise remains to be seen.
January 20: Kidnappers abduct six pupils in Doma, Nassarawa.
February 14: Kidnappers abduct 15 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Ihiala, Anambra.
February 28: Nine children kidnapped by a 16-year-old teenager in Lagos State.
March 25: Two children abducted in Suleja Local Government Area of Niger State.
April 2: Bandits abduct two students in Bungudu, Zamfara.
April 8: Bandits abduct over 80 children between the ages of 12 and 17 in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
April 3: Eight students of Government Secondary School, Awon in Kachia LGA, and an unspecified number of residents in Kaduna State kidnapped.
April 21: Gunmen abduct a student of a polytechnic in Enugu State.
April 4: At least 10 students of Government Secondary School in Kaduna State abducted during an attack
May 16: Kidnappers abduct about five National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Emuoha, Rivers.
May 27: Kidnappers abduct four children in Njaba, Imo.
June 14: Gunmen abduct seven students of the University of Jos.
August 24: Gunmen attack school, killing one and kidnapping seven students and one teacher in Chikun, Kaduna.
September 22: 24 female students abducted from their hostel at the Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State.
September 26: Gunmen abduct a student of Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
October 4: Suspected terrorists kidnap five female students of Federal University in Katsina
October 10: Gunmen abduct four Nasarawa Varsity students