By Emegwoako C. Paschal
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has condemned the kidnapping of 21 children last Sunday on a farm in Mairuwa, Faskari Local Government Area, Katsina State, and has urged the federal government to ensure their immediate rescue.
Cristian Munduate, the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, described the abduction as concerning in a statement issued in Bauchi yesterday (Friday, November 4th).
Munduate called child abduction “reprehensible,” whether it occurs at home, school, or elsewhere, and expressed concern that the children were being attacked by people who should be protecting them.
Munduate urged the government to rescue them as soon as possible so that they could be reunited with their families.
The UNICEF Country Chief concluded that the “tragic” incident is yet another example of the dangers that children face as a result of acts committed by those who are supposed to protect them.
During the crop harvesting, dozens of gunmen on motorcycles stormed the farm in Mairuwa village, 19 adults were abducted along with the children. They are demanding a ransom in exchange for their release.
According to a Faskari Local Government Source, the farm manager had previously struck a deal with the terrorists, who demanded protection money in exchange for allowing the harvest to proceed and were given a down payment.
“It’s clear the bandits were irritated that work started on the farm without being paid the balance,” said the source.
Residents of Faskari, which borders Zamfara State, face recurring threats of kidnapping from terrorists who cross into the area from their forest camps, according to the official.