Ibrahim, one of the abducted and now freed students of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, Northwest Nigeria, wants to be a Civil Engineer.
The dream he has been painstakingly nurturing almost came crashing down on Friday, the 11th of December when gunmen on motorcycles attacked his school. While some of Ibrahim’s mates were fortunate to escape on the night, he wasn’t so lucky and was abducted alongside hundreds of others.
In the captivity of the bandits/terrorists, some of the abducted students escaped and rushed home to seek safety. For hundreds of others, they had to wait for almost a week to live a normal life again.
Narrating his harrowing ordeal in the hands of the men who claim to be Boko Haram members under Abubakar Shekau’s faction, Ibrahim told Village Square Africa on News Central that they were fed on one raw cassava each. They trekked miles without water and slept out in the cold without blankets.
Days After Release, There’s No Medical Attention
Ibrahim revealed that he, like many other boys who were abducted, hasn’t been given any medical attention. He, however, added that they don’t have any medical problems presently and are feeling well.
The Katsina State government, immediately after the release of the boys had promised that they would be given urgent medical attention.
Going by Ibrahim’s narration, this promise hasn’t been kept.
Desire To Return To School
Ibrahim is not giving up on his dream of becoming a Civil Engineer despite the harrowing experience faced in the hands of the kidnappers. He said he will like to return to school and will return when school reopens.
Need For Psycho-Social Support
Foremost Nigerian security experts, Kabir Adamu, and Temitope Olodo said the students have to be given psycho-social support to keep their heads in check and help them through recovery.
They added that the students that weren’t kidnapped, teachers in the school, the kids’ parents all need to be helped through recovering from the difficulty of that terrible experience.
This is to reduce the traumatic effects that come with the memory of such occurrences.
Nigerian Government Must Improve On Communication, Trust
Mr Olodo said the different accounts were given by the army, Police and the Katsina state government mean that there is a lack of communication at the centre. He said for citizens to trust the government on their security, there has to be a good channel of communication.
On his part, Mr Adamu said the government is not doing enough to inspire the citizenry’s trust and belief in its methods. He said the Nigerian government must come out straight on issues as important as the nation’s security
Kidnap-for-Ransom: Incentivising Crime
Adamu said there were factors that worked in Nigeria’s favour including political influence, the security operatives and the role of Miyetti Allah in securing the freedom of the boys. However, he added that if a ransom was paid to secure the release, it means the Nigerian government is encouraging the kidnap-for-ransom trade that has become popular in the Northwest of the country.
In order to prevent abductions like the Kankara schoolboys’ and protect Nigerians on the roads, in the markets and their homes, the experts have called for an improvement of the law enforcement agencies and the justice system in the country.