1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
The Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna
The Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna, where the children were abductedImage: Stringer/REUTERS

Abducted Nigerian schoolchildren appear in video

March 14, 2021

Captured schoolchildren in Nigeria have appeared in a ransom video, days after they were abducted by bandits in the northern state of Kaduna. The Nigerian president has vowed a swift response to the kidnapping.


Captured schoolchildren in Nigeria appeared in a ransom video broadcast on local media Saturday, days after they were abducted by gunmen in the northern state of Kaduna.

The 39 students, 23 young women and 16 young men, were kidnapped Thursday from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, with their ages ranging from late teens to early 20s.

Children, parents plead for help from government

The video showed graphic images, with captured female students yelling at their kidnappers while being whipped. Other students pleaded for help from the government.

"They surrounded us, they said anybody that comes from anywhere to come and rescue us or do anything by force they are going to take our lives," a boy who identified himself as Benson Emmanuel said in the video, describing the captors as having a "bad mind."

Gloria Paul recognized her 20-year-old daughter Joy Kurmi Paul in the video, who was wearing a pink headscarf.

"Please, the government should help us get them released without hurting them," Gloria Paul said tearfully.

Kidnappings increasingly carried out by 'armed bandits' for financial reasons

Authorities have identified the kidnappers as a group of "armed bandits." The Islamist group Boko Haram has previously kidnapped students in Nigeria, most notably when 276 girls were taken captive in Chibok, Borno state, in 2014, with over 100 of the girls still missing.

Armed groups referred to as "bandits" have frequently been carrying out kidnappings of school children in Nigeria for financial reasons. The incident in Kaduna was at least the fourth kidnapping of schoolchildren since December.

Uwaisu Idris: Nigeria kidnapping 'indication of the growing insecurity'

Nigerian president vows swift response

In a statement on Saturday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari vowed a swift response to the kidnapping, saying he would not let the country's educational system be destroyed by the bandits. He ordered the military to return the students to their families.

"Our military may be efficient and well-armed, but it needs good efforts for the nation's defense, and the local population must rise to the moment," Buhari said, vowing "an early end to the ordeal."

Nigeria has often struggled to tackle its security challenges against armed groups in recent years. On Saturday, an Islamic State-aligned group attacked a Nigerian military convoy killing 15 soldiers and four militia fighters in Borno state.

wd/sms (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

A bird in front of a Ukrainian flag in Bucha

Bucha one year on: Slow progress in war crime probes

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage