The 317 girls were abducted on Friday, February 26 night when gunmen stormed Jangebe Government Girls’ Secondary School in Zamfara State at around 1.00 a.m. local time and started shooting indiscriminately.
According to the State’s Information Commissioner, Sulaiman Tanau Anka, the gunmen escaped with the girls using vehicles as well as on foot.
Nigeria’s security forces have since launched a search for the girls.
The February 26 kidnapping comes days after a similar incident in the neighboring State of Niger where bandits attacked a Government Science Secondary School in the District of Kagara and abducted 42 people, among them 27 students, three members of staff, and 12 members of their families.
One student reportedly died during the February 17 incident, which occurred within the Ecclesiastical Province of Kaduna.
The 42 were released on February 27 and received by officials of the State government, Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello tweeted.
Following the February 17 kidnapping, Catholic Bishops in the West African country expressed concerns about what they termed “persistent crises” bedeviling Nigerians, saying “the nation is falling apart.”
Highlighting kidnappings, assassinations, banditry, armed robberies, and murders among the multiple “persistent crisis,” the members of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) said, “We are really on the brink of a looming collapse. The nation is falling apart.”
In their February 23 statement obtained by ACI Africa, CBCN members noted “with deep sorrow” the insecurity in Niger State saying the developments in the region “expose our collective vulnerability.”
As a way forward, they recommended "a formal meeting of statesmen and women across the board for us to think through the challenges that seem poised to push us into the abyss."