School kidnapping prompts tightened security in Lagos

Lagos, March 3, 2016 (AFP) – Authorities in Nigeria’s largest city have ordered security to be increased at schools after heavily armed gunmen abducted three girls, the state governor’s spokesman told AFP on Thursday. Unidentified gunmen seized the teenagers from their dormitory at the Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School in Ikorodu, an eastern suburb of Lagos, late on Monday.

Local media said the kidnappers had made a ransom demand of 200 million naira ($1 million) although police have refused to comment on the reports. “(Lagos State) Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has ordered that security should be beefed up in schools across the state to prevent a recurrence of this sad incident,” his spokesman Habib Aruna said. “The governor is not happy about the security situation in the school where the kidnapping took place. He is very disturbed by the incident. “As a parent, he is sad and has ordered security agents to ensure that the girls are released without delay.”

School kidnappings are rare in Lagos, Nigeria’s sprawling megacity of 20 million people and the country’s commercial hub. But abductions by armed criminals are common in southern states. In northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram Islamists have abducted several thousand women and young girls since the start of their insurgency nearly seven years ago. In April 2014, 276 schoolgirls were seized from the town of Chibok triggering worldwide outrage. Fifty-seven escaped in the days that followed but 219 are still being held.

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