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Nigeria: Mass school abductions taint Buhari, ruling party’s goodwill

By Chinedu Asadu
Posted on Thursday, 24 June 2021 07:07, updated on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 10:53

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest to urge authorities to rescue hundreds of abducted schoolboys, in northwestern state of Katsina, Nigeria, 17 December 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

1,014. That's the number of students who have been abducted from their schools in Nigeria since December 2020. Many citizens live in fear as schools in different regions remain shut and protests increase, with demands for President Muhammadu Buhari's resignation.

About half of them are still being held by their captors, including 80 who were kidnapped on Thursday 17 July when their school in north-western Kebbi state was attacked.

“How can 219 girls be missing in our country, and our leader appears incapable of action?” Muhammadu Buhari had asked in January 2015 while criticising then-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan over the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls in the northeast state of Borno.

Fast-forward to six years later: five times that number of students have been abducted under Buhari’s watch, dealing a heavy blow to the goodwill on which he rode to power.