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A boy recovers from his ordeal after being released by kidnappers in Kankara in Nigeria. © AFP - Kola Sulaimon

What is behind the rise in kidnappings in Nigeria?

18 March 2021

At least 700 students have been abducted in northern states since December.

Nigeria’s school kidnappings have become a key security challenge for its government and security forces. At least 700 students have been abducted in northern states since December.

That figure changes every day with reports of more attacks and abductions. Dozens of students managed to escape a raid on Monday, while their three teachers were taken.

It happened in northwestern Kaduna State and it was the first such attack on a primary school.

Armed gangs locally known as bandits are suspected. They usually seek lucrative ransom to release the victims, but the government denies paying any money.

So, how challenging are these bandits to President Muhammadu Buhari?

Al Jazeera’s Inside Story examines the issues.

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra

Guests:

Mike Ejiofor – former director of Nigeria’s State Security Service

Ini Dele-Adedeji – research fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Center for African Studies

Anietie Ewang – Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch

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