• Narrate how bandits killed their teacher

• How they were treated, trekked in forest to Zamfara in 14 hours

• Say 25 of them escaped back home and after 4 days in bush, 60 others also escaped 

• Parents declare: “We’re going nowhere other than Kuriga”


From Noah Ebije, Kaduna


• Cross section of the school children boarding a vehicle to Kuriga from Kaduna city as Governor Uba Sani bids them farewell



After about three hours drive from Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna State, the school children of Kuriga LEA Primary School and Secondary School in Chikun Local Government Area of the state that were kidnapped on March 7 and freed on March 24 by troops of the Nigerian Army finally reunited with their parents and guardians in Kuriga town bordered by Birnin Gwari Local Government Area.


• The rescued school children

There was jubilation in the entire Kuriga community with parents expressing their feelings amid tears of joy and intermittent cry of sadness over the death of the kidnapped teacher, Abubakar Isah, who died in captivity before the very eyes of the students, including his own son.

However, out of excitement and satisfaction of the efforts made by the federal and state governments to rescue the school children, and in consideration of current beefed up security in the community, parents said that they have resolved to allow their children complete their primary and secondary schools education in Kuriga town against their earlier contemplation of relocating them to other schools in other places.

Some of the parents spoke to Sunday Sun one after the other, giving thanks to God and the government of the day for a job well done, emphasising that, “we are going nowhere other than Kuriga.”

A parent, Amina Abubakar said: “I have children who were among those that were kidnapped. My children also include that of my junior sisters and brothers, as well as my neighbour’s children. This is how we live in this village. Everybody’s children are everybody’s concerns. It is not only the children you gave birth to that are only your children. Everybody’s children are your own too in this village. We have relations, grand mothers, grand fathers and grandchildren. We are all one united family. When we heard that our children have been freed, I was so happy and I thank God for this marvelous work.

“May God bless President Bola Tinubu and Governor Uba Sani for facilitating the freedom of our children. Some weeks ago we were crying over the abduction of our children, today, we are laughing and rejoicing over their release. We will give full support for their education, we will not relocate them to another school now that we have soldiers and more security operatives in the village. But we have some requests to make to the government and those concerned that we need light and telecommunications services in this village. If there is no network services, it will be very difficult to reach out during emergency. We also need social welfare assistance.”

Idris Bala also said: “We are praying to God to separate us from these bandits henceforth. We are grateful to God for releasing them to us. We also grateful to the government for this great work of ensuring the freedom of our children. We will not relocate them to another school, we will stand by them until they finish their primary and secondary education in this village.”

Another one, Hauwa Idris, said: “My daughter, Fati Isah was among those children kidnapped. She is 13 years old. I was full of sadness through the period she was in captivity. We are grateful to Governor Uba Sani for bringing back our children to us. May God bless him. But we need more soldiers in the village so that our children can feel free to continue with their education because there is nowhere to go other than here for them to continue with their education.”

Also Barila Sanusi said: “As soon as we heard that our children have been freed, we became so excited. We thank those that rescued our children back home. My child who was among those rescued is by name Hassan Sanusi, 13 years old and he is in primary one. He will continue with his education here in Kuriga. We are not going anywhere because of the help and assistance given to us by the government. But we need light and network services.”

Nafisa Isah, the younger sister of the teacher that died in captivity, said: “Though I am sad, but I am happy that our children have been freed from the hands of the bandits. Our children will continue with their education in this village. We are not relocating to anywhere. May God grant my elder brother, Abubakar Isah, eternal rest ( breaks down in tears). May God forgive him all his shortcomings. His time on earth has ended, either he was kidnapped or not, he would still have died on that day he died.”

Related News

Ladidi Halilu said: “I have five children that were kidnapped. We thank God that they are back home safely. We thank God for this. We thank the governor and we will vote for him if he contests again. We also thank President Bola Tinubu. May God bless all of them. We are grateful that security agencies are now in our village. We will not relocate our children to another village to go to school. They will complete their education here in Kuriga by the grace of God.”

And Bala Musa said: “I have one child among the victims that were rescued. He is 14 years old. Upon hearing about their freedom I felt like I am in paradise. On the day they were kidnapped, 25 of them escaped back home, and after four days in the bush, 60 of them escaped and returned home also. They all came back on their own as they got missing in the bush without bandits finding them. They will continue to go to school in Kuriga because there is enough security men around now. We thought we should relocate, but we are going nowhere.

For Kabiru Musa, “I have one child among them. He is 18 years old. I am so happy that he is back home. I give thanks to God. I also thank the president and the governor for this great work of bringing back our school children. By the special grace of God they will continue with their education in this village. Nobody is going anywhere.”

Shittu Abdullahi said: “I am full of happiness that our children have returned home. I had sleepless nights throughout the period they were in the hands of the kidnappers. I thank both the federal and state governments for ensuring the safety and freedom of our children.  We will ensure that they continue with their education in this village. No need for relocating them as some of us the parents had earlier planned. There is enough security that our children can go to school freely.”

Also, some of the released school children narrated how they lived and survived in the forests

One of them, Jamila Sidiku, narrating amid tears and sobs how they were treated by bandits in the forests said that she was happy that she was back home with her colleagues.

Sidiku, an SSS one student said amid tears: “We were fed twice a day; morning and evening and we were whipped regularly, especially when they saw you going to urinate. They whipped our teacher directly on his face. It was this kind of beating that killed our teacher. We trekked in the bush to Zamfara. We left Kaduna bush around 12 midnight and arrived Zamfara forest at 2:00a.m. But those of us who could not trek were picked on bikes by our abductors. I am happy that I am back home. I missed my parents, school, but by God’s grace I will continue with my education in this village. We are grateful to the soldiers that rescued us. May God bless them. May God bless President Tinubu and Governor Uba Sani for all their concerns.

Another student,  Suleiman Lawal, said:  “It was God that destined that, some people will come and abduct us and take us into the bush and by the will of God, He destined that, we will come out safely.

“We have been well received by the government officials. Those that are injured were treated and we are happy. We are grateful to the government and governor of Kaduna State. May God continue to uplift them. Our coming here has given the desire to pursue my education to a greater height by God’s grace”.

Also another student, Aisha Mohammed, said:

“We are grateful to the government, especially the Commissioner of Human Services and the governor that helped us to see our parents again. We are praying that God will continue to uplift them. We are also praying that God will also make our dreams too come to pass”.

Meanwhile, the state governor, Uba Sani has  announced a donation of N10 million to the family of their teacher, Malam Abubakar, who died in captivity due to health complications.

The governor also said that his government would be providing scholarship up to university level to the children of the teacher.

“The Kaduna State government has taken a collective decision to support the family of Malam Abubakar, the teacher who died in captivity, with N10 million.

“Also, because he has a very young family, the Kaduna State government will be giving scholarship to his children until they finish secondary school and university,” the governor said.

One of his children, Isah Abubakar who is also one of the kidnapped and rescued pupils, witnessed his father’s death in the bandits’ den.

Governor Sani who returned from Abuja on Thursday to bid the children farewell after three days of psychosocial therapy at the Kaduna Women and Children Shelter, also disclosed that, he will in his private capacity, under the auspices of Uba Sani Foundation, be supporting the education of all the 137 pupils and students, up to university level.

The governor said: “We saw the need to keep the children for this long because when they came on Sunday, it was observed that some of them needed some psychological support. So, we had to engage the service of psychologists and medical doctors to attend to them.

“Now, they have been given adequate psychosocial counselling and therapy. I am happy today that all the children are happy and they are in high spirits.

“Now, you are going back home to meet with your parents and other families members who are eager to see you. But I want to assure you that all of you remain my children.

“As a result of this, I will be using Uba Sani Foundation, which has been in existence for the past 16 years to look after the education of all the 137 of you.

“Our government will also be carrying out a lot of rehabilitation works both in the Kuriga community and the school. I have already given directive to that effect. This is because Kuriga community is one of the most peaceful communities in Kaduna State.”

He assured the school children that he would be checking on them at Kuriga from time to time to monitor the progress of their education.