Skip to content

Distraught Father Recalls Latest Kidnapping in Northern Nigeria

Murtala Muhammadu, 48, a local businessman in Tegina, a remote town in Niger State’s Rafi district, told CNN on Tuesday that his 5-year-old son and three daughters aged 6 and 7 were among the more than 150 schoolchildren kidnapped from an Islamic evening school by the armed assailants in Niger State. Muhammadu said that news about an impending attack on Tegina by armed men had been circulating before the raid. “I was standing in front of my house when someone told me that there’s a rumor going around that bandits … are likely planning to attack our community. We were advised to properly watch over our respective families,” Muhammadu said. Muhammadu described the moment the attackers stormed Tegina on Sunday afternoon and opened fire at random. “Suddenly we saw them coming into our community. They passed in front of my house at around 3:30 p.m. without saying a word to anyone … and proceeded to a fuel station. Then they started shooting,” he added. The father’s worst fears were confirmed when he received a call informing him that only four of his eight children had returned home from school.