Skip to content

The Boys are Back Home

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has met with more than 300 schoolboys kidnapped a week ago in the country’s restive north-west as authorities celebrated their freedom amid widespread anger in the country at deepening insecurity. The 344 boys arrived in the city of Katsina on Friday morning, relieved to be free but exhausted from a week spent in captivity following their abduction by local bandit groups in a raid claimed by the Islamist militants Boko Haram. They were rescued on Thursday night from a forest enclave, according to the governor of Katsina state, Aminu Masari. This is one of the largest recorded abductions in Nigeria, and the claim of responsibility by Boko Haram, sent shockwaves through the region and fears that the reach of the terror group was spreading from the country’s north-east where an 11-year jihadist insurgency rages on. Katsina’s government deny a ransom was paid, yet the swift negotiations and the confidence from governing officials point to a complicated web of state authorities, communal groups, armed outfits – some now linked with Boko Haram – amid deepening insecurity across the region.