Nigeria: President Buhari meets high school students released in the north-west of the country

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met high school students who were hostages of the jihadists for six days.

AP - Sunday Alamba

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

In Nigeria, a meeting was organized Friday, December 18, in the afternoon, between President Muhammadu Buhari and the 344 high school students released Thursday evening, in the premises of the government of Katsina.

The head of state had just started his vacation in the region where he is from, when this mass kidnapping occurred.

After the release of the high school students, the relief of the Nigerian authorities could be short-lived. 


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With our correspondent in Lagos,

Liza Fabbian

There was something a little surreal about the scene, sitting on chairs, dressed in cool clothes and wearing surgical masks, the exhausted schoolchildren received a short visit from President Muhammadu Buhari, who asked them not to give in to fear .

►Also read: Nigeria: more than 300 high school students kidnapped from the Kankara boarding school have been released

The children spent six days in the hands of their armed captors.

This morning, they were taken to the Governor of Katsina State as soon as they arrived in the city, without even having time to see their parents again, who were waiting for them in front of the government building.

Boko Haram did not act directly

The official ceremonies could almost make you forget that Boko Haram has just signed its first spectacular action, in northwestern Nigeria, far from its stronghold in Borno State.

The jihadist group did not act directly, but forged links with criminal groups well established in the region, and specialized in kidnappings for ransom.

A daily threat to many residents of Katsina and Zamfara states.

The local authorities themselves are well acquainted with those known as “

 the Bandits

 ”, as local politicians have negotiated with them in the past and have long operated in Northwestern Nigeria.

They probably acted with the support of the jihadist leader Abubakar Shekau, who

twice claimed responsibility for this




According to local observers, it is likely that a ransom was paid in exchange for the release of the 344 high school students.

The number of hostages captured is exceptional, as is the double claim of Boko Haram, which probably provided logistical and financial support to the kidnappers.

The Nigerian army and the governors of Zamfara and Katsina took six days to release the teenagers, enough time for jihadist leader Abubakar Shekau to strike the spirits, just 200 km from Muhammadu Buhari's hometown.

Government security success

The Nigerian authorities are clearly enjoying a rare success in terms of security, even if the conditions for the release of these children remain unclear, in particular concerning the payment of a possible ransom.

In a statement in reaction to this release, a representative of Unicef ​​in Nigeria, recalled that " 

this attack should never have happened

 " and called for measures to be taken, so that " 

all Nigerian children can learn without being afraid



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  • Nigeria

  • Boko Haram

  • Muhammadu Buhari

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