Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - All 279 nabbed Nigerian girls free: governor



All 279 nabbed Nigerian girls free: governor

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Authorities initially said 317 girls were abducted in the raid by hundreds of gunmen on the Government Girls Secondary School in remote Jangebe village. AFP

All 279 nabbed Nigerian girls free: governor

All 279 girls kidnapped from their boarding school in northern Nigeria have been released and are on government premises, the local governor told reporters on March 2.

Nigeria has been rocked by four mass abductions of students in less than three months, sparking widespread anger against the government and memories of the 2014 kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in Chibok, in the country’s east, that shocked the world.

“I am happy to announce that the girls are free,” said Zamfara state governor Dr Bello Matawalle. “They have just arrived in the government house and are in good health.”

Authorities initially said 317 girls were abducted in the raid by hundreds of gunmen on the Government Girls Secondary School in remote Jangebe village on February 26.

But Matawalle said the “total number of female students abducted” was 279.

Government officials had been in talks with the kidnappers, known locally as bandits.

A source said “repentant bandits” had been contacted to reach out to their former comrades as part of efforts to free the students.

Heavily armed criminal gangs in northwest and central Nigeria have stepped up attacks in recent years, kidnapping for ransom, raping and pillaging.

The Nigerian military was deployed to the area in 2016 and a peace deal with bandits was signed in 2019 but attacks have continued.

In December, more than 300 boys were kidnapped from a school in Kankara, in President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state of Katsina, while he was visiting the region.

The boys were later released but the incident triggered outrage and memories of the kidnappings of 276 schoolgirls by jihadists in Chibok.

Many of those girls are still missing.

The gangs are largely driven by financial motives and have no known ideological leanings.

Authorities have denied paying any ransom to secure the recent releases.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and