Amid freed Nigeria schoolboys’ joyful reunions, fear lingers

Amid freed Nigeria schoolboys' joyful reunions, fear lingers

KANKARA – Nigeria’s freed schoolboys have reunited with their joyful dad and mom after being held captive for practically per week by gunmen allied with jihadist rebels within the nation’s northwest.

Relieved dad and mom hugged their sons tightly on Saturday in Kankara, the place greater than 340 boys had been kidnapped from the Authorities Science Secondary faculty on the evening of Dec. 11. Different households met their sons in Ketare, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) away. Extra boys went to their properties additional away in Katsina state.

“After I heard our boys had been freed, I used to be full with pleasure and happiness as a result of I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat,” Murjanatu Rabiu, a mom of one of many boys, mentioned.

“We had been crying, not understanding the situation that they had been in,” she mentioned. “Once we noticed them, we had been so completely satisfied though they got here again with wounds … and really hungry.”

Most of the schoolboys expressed fear about returning to high school, saying their captors threatened them with loss of life in the event that they went again to lessons. Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadist rebels claimed duty for the abductions, saying they attacked the varsity as a result of they imagine Western schooling is un-Islamic.

“Worry gripped me once they mentioned in the event that they ever see us at school once more, that they’ll kill us,” mentioned freed Kankara scholar, Usman Mohammad Rabiu. “I used to be severely afraid.”

The 13-year-old boy instructed how the scholars had been compelled at gunpoint to trek a number of miles by means of the bush, with out meals or water. His toes had sores from the hike throughout the powerful terrain. He mentioned his toes had been so painful that he could not stroll and he was helped by an older boy who carried him on his again. He mentioned he doesn’t wish to return to high school.

“The explanation why I’ll not return to high school is as a result of I’m considering if I’m going again to high school the bandits will kill me after which I’ll not see my dad and mom once more,” mentioned Usman. “That’s the explanation why I cannot return once more.”

After being launched by their captors, the schoolboys had been bused to Katsina, the provincial capital, the place they met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday. The president appeared to attenuate the traumatic abduction, telling the boys they shouldn’t be deterred in life by “this little issue.”

One other abduction of greater than 80 college students occurred Saturday evening in an space close by, however the pupils had been shortly rescued by safety forces after a fierce gun battle, police introduced Sunday.

Saturday evening’s tried kidnapping passed off in Dandume, about 64 kilometers (40 miles) from Kankara, the city the place the sooner kidnapping of schoolboys occurred.

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