Over 100 Kidnapped in Northwest Nigeria Amid Rising Insecurity

Gunmen kidnapped over 100 people, including 38 men and 67 women and children, in raids on three villages in northwest Nigeria. The villages of Gora, Madomawa, and Jambuzu were attacked, highlighting the region's dire security situation.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Over 100 Kidnapped in Northwest Nigeria Amid Rising Insecurity

Over 100 Kidnapped in Northwest Nigeria Amid Rising Insecurity

More than 100 people, including 38 men and 67 women and children, were kidnapped by gunmen during Friday night raids on three villages in northwest Nigeria. The villages of Gora, Madomawa, and Jambuzu in the Birnin-Magaji local government area of Zamfara were attacked in the latest of a series of abductions plaguing the region.

Alhaji Bala, head of a district in the area, told Reuters that "the number of people abducted could be more than 100." Madomawa village head Aminu Aliyu Asha said, "The abduction breaches the peace agreement between us and bandits. In February this year, we made several ransom payments in order to stop them from attacking our territory."

Why this matters: The rise of kidnappings in Nigeria highlights the country's struggling security apparatus and its inability to protect its citizens, which can have far-reaching consequences for regional stability and economic growth. As the frequency and scale of these attacks continue to increase, it may lead to a decline in investor confidence and a brain drain of talented Nigerians seeking safer opportunities abroad.

Kidnapping has become endemic in Nigeria's northwest, with roving gangs of armed men abducting people from villages, highways, and schools, demanding ransom money from their relatives. Zamfara is a hotspot for these kidnapping gangs, who carry out attacks and retreat into forests where they have set up camps. The Nigerian military has bombed some of the camps, but attacks continue.

Mass kidnappings were first carried out by jihadist group Boko Haram, but the practice has been adopted by armed gangs with no known ideological affiliation. The kidnappings have grown as Nigerians grapple with economic hardship. On Thursday, at least nine students were kidnapped from their classrooms by gunmen at the Confluence University of Science and Technology in the state of Kogi.

These latest abductions underscore the dire security situation in northwest Nigeria, where armed criminal gangs operate with impunity. Despite increased military operations and local peace deals, remain frequent. The persistence of this violence, along with the targeting of high-profile figures like the Central Bank Governor's wife, ministers and monarchs, highlights the challenges Nigeria faces in reining in insecurity across the country.

Key Takeaways

  • Over 100 people, including 38 men and 67 women and children, kidnapped in northwest Nigeria.
  • Three villages in Zamfara state attacked, breaching a peace agreement with bandits.
  • Kidnappings highlight Nigeria's struggling security apparatus and inability to protect citizens.
  • Zamfara is a hotspot for kidnapping gangs, who demand ransom money from relatives.
  • Mass kidnappings have grown amid economic hardship, with frequent attacks despite military operations.