The 75 students who were abducted from a scondary school in Zamfara state have regained their freedom after 12 days in captivity.
The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) disclosed the latest development on Sunday night.
The victims, who were students of Government Day Secondary School, Kaya, in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State were abducted on September 1, 2021.
The Northwestern state has been the epicenter of deadly attacks in recent times, with many questioning the capability of the contry’s defence architecture.
Five students were initially released by the bandits, 24 hours after their abduction.
A former councilor of Kaya ward, Yahaya Kaya, said that his niece was among those released by the bandits; adding that the five freed pupils had been returned to their hometown of Kaya.
It is not yet clear if any ransom was paid before the pupils were released.
Following the abduction, the Zamfara State Government had ordered the immediate closure of boarding facilities in 30 schools across the state.
In reaction to the abduction, UNICEF, on September 3, said it was horrified by yet another attack on an educational institution in Nigeria.
The UN agency, in a Press release distributed by the APO Group, stated, “Of the abducted students, 23 students escaped and returned home – two of them with bullet wounds. The abducted students are aged between 14 and 19.”
“We strongly condemn this attack, which has happened just a few days after kidnapped students of a school in Niger State, north-central Nigeria, were freed,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria. “We call on the authorities to take expedited action to rescue these students and reunite them with their families.”
“We reiterate that attacks on schools and abduction of learners are a gross violation of children’s rights, and a horrific experience for children to go through – one which could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and overall well-being,” said Peter Hawkins.
“Schools must be safe; no child should experience any harm because they went to school, and no parent should come to grief for sending their children to learn,” said Hawkins.