School Girls Freed After Being Kidnapped in Nigeria


Photo courtesy of The New York Times

Madison Pettengill

At the end of February, over two-hundred school girls were abducted from their boarding school in Maiduguri, Nigeria by gunmen who claimed they were part of the military. In northwestern Nigeria, kidnappings are increasing at an exponential rate, based on an article written by The New York Times. The governor of Nigeria, Bello Matawalle, said, “Abduction has become a growth industry amid the country’s economic crisis.” He is referring to it as a “growth industry”, because the kidnappers are holding the children and keeping them alive as long as possible to eventually get a large sum of ransom money. 


The New York Times mentions that all of the girls that were abducted from this school were released shortly after their kidnapping. This was the second time, in a week, that these armed men have released the children that they have taken. Many parents spoke out about how worried they were about their daughters. Some telling The New York Times,“My wife was broken down in inconsolable tears, calling out the names of our two daughters who are students in the affected school.”


The freed school girls also got the chance to tell The New York Times about their terrifying experience. One said she recalled the men telling them, “Don’t be afraid because we do not mean to harm any of you, just obey our instructions.” This traumatizing event will always be remembered by these girls. 


Averie Bowman, a student at Timberlane Regional High School, commented on the kidnappings that take place in Nigeria. She said, “I am thankful I can go to school every day and feel safe. Being abducted is a scary thought and I don’t ever want to experience it.”


This tragic story is nothing unfamiliar for a country like Nigeria, which is a country that is considered to be the poverty capital of the world, according to Quartz Africa. Villagers are targeted when gunmen raid, and school children are abducted from a place where they learn. Unfortunately, this country has not yet confided in neighboring countries causing it to still be an unsafe place, and to still have violence that will not go anywhere due to the extreme poverty.