News & Politics

Boko Haram claims responsibility for Katsina schoolboys kidnapping

Islamist terror group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the recent Kidnapping of hundreds of schoolboys from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State. 

About 800 students were at the school when the attack happened and more than 300 are still missing – but it is not clear if all of them are being held by the kidnappers.

In a video released on Tuesday, Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, said his group was responsible for the attack.

Shekau said the school was teaching its students things that could “destroy Islam”.

“What happened in Katsina was done to promote Islam and discourage un-Islamic practices as Western education is not the type of education permitted by Allah and his Holy Prophet,” he said in the four-minute-long video.

“They are also not teaching what Allah and his Holy Prophet commanded. They are rather destroying Islam. It may be subtle, but Allah the Lord of the skies and earth knows whatever is hidden. May Allah promote Islam. May we die as Muslims.

“In a nutshell, we are behind what happened in Katsina.”

This year hundreds of people in Nigeria’s north-west region have been killed in attacks by what authorities have called criminal gangs, but until now it has been unclear whether they had links with Boko Haram.

Boko Haram started its bloody campaign to establish an Islamic State in Nigeria’s North-East in 2009 after the extra-judicial killing of its founder Muhammad Yusuf. Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been forced from their homes.

Activists have criticized President Muhammadu Buhari, whose home state is Katsina, for mishandling the security operation against the militants.

Some have accused him of not showing empathy to the victims and families thereafter a video shared online on Tuesday showed him visiting his farm.

“It’s absolute incompetence and an uncaring, indifferent ruling class that does not understand what it means to govern,” former Nigerian Education Minister Oby Ezekwesili told the BBC’s Newsday program.

“Here we are as a country just completely showing ourselves as completely unserious when it comes to the matter of human life especially that of our children, ” she said, accusing the government of rebranding “terrorism as banditry”.

Similar to the Katsina abduction, Boko Haram had invaded Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Chibok, Borno state in 2014 and kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls.

More than half of the girls are yet to be found.

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