Kankara schoolboys: Conflicting figures over number captured, released

December 18, 2020
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<!– Some of the Kankara schoolboys after their release on Thursday. How many were captured initially? –>

Some of the Kankara schoolboys after their release on Thursday. How many were captured initially?

By Abankula

How many Kankara schoolboys were actually captured by Boko Haram and bandits on 11 December?

Were the 344 students released Thursday night the entire captives?

Governor Aminu Masari initially told journalists that 333 students out of 830 were kidnapped.

But last night, he said 344 students had been released.

Some of the Kankara schoolboys

In a video released by Boko Haram on Thursday, one of the students then in captivity said 520 of them were captured from Government Science Secondary School in Kankara.

He also said that some of the students were killed in some fire fight between Nigerian military and the abductors.

Another student who escaped from the bandits, also said 520 students were captured.

Boko Haram on its part said they captured 524 students.

Governor Masari’s interview with NTA announcing the release of the 344 students also created doubts if all the students have regained freedom.

“I think we have recovered most of the boys, it’s not all of them,” Masari said.

Then he added that those who were released, “will be given proper medical attention and care before being reunited with their families.”

The Daily Trust reported that the school register sighted by its reporter indicated that 668 students were missing after the brutal assault on the school in the night of 11 December.

The paper further reported that while in the bush, the students were kept in clusters in three different locations by three different groups with different motives.

On Thursday night, 344 students were released after negotiations that involved Zamfara state governor Bello Matawalle.

Matawalle in an interview with Daily Nigerian said he used repentant bandits and leadership of Miyetti Allah to identify the syndicate that led the abduction, and then started the negotiation process.

“When we established contact with them, I persuaded them to release them unharmed. And so they did tonight. This is not the first time we facilitated the release of our people without payment of ransom.

“Ask anybody, we don’t pay bandits a dime. What we do is to extend olive branch to them because they also want to live in peace”.

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