Nigeria Orders Creation of Police Base in Remote Community After Mass Kidnappings

abuja, nigeria — Police in Nigeria have ordered the creation of a new base for officers and the deployment of special forces in a remote village in northwest Kaduna state, where nearly 300 students were abducted by armed bandits on March 7.

Nigerian police chief Kayode Egbetokun announced plans for the new base and the deployment during a visit with Kaduna Governor Uba Sani on Tuesday.

He said the steps will help restore residents’ confidence in their safety while security forces continue the search for the missing students.

Last Thursday, armed bandits on motorbikes invaded an elementary school in the village of Kuriga in Kaduna state and abducted 287 school students — the highest single abduction of students in years.

Days later in a separate attack, bandits kidnapped 61 people from Kajuru district, about 150 kilometers miles away. 

The new police base will be in Kuriga and deployment of extra officers to the area has begun.

Egbetokun says authorities are working to secure the abductees’ release.

“We’re launching the special intervention squad for Kaduna state,” Egbetokun said. “If only to give confidence to the people, the men will be deployed and with the support that you have pledged to give, I’m sure that the community will start to feel safe again.”

Sani said he is hopeful the police operations will succeed.

“We are extremely confident that the school children by the grace of God will return back home safely,” he said, “and I’m happy by the decision of the inspector general of police to quickly deploy mobile base in Kuriga community.”

Last week, local media reported more than 300 women and children who were gathering firewood were kidnapped in northeastern Borno state by Islamic militants.

Insecurity is a major challenge for President Bola Tinubu, who launched an initiative called “Renewed Hope” after assuming office last May.

The recent kidnappings are blamed, in part, on the absence of security forces in those remote areas.

Last month, the president met with all 36 state governors to discuss decentralizing Nigeria’s police force and creating a police arm for each state.

Analyst Kabiru Adamu of Beacon Security said, if organized properly, this could be a step in the right direction.

“There are gaps within the security architecture,” Adamu said. “I am supportive of the decentralization of policing but I think what we need more than anything is accountability. So that by the time we create state police, the accountability elements that have been created in the federal level will trickle down to the state level.”

Years of fighting Islamist militants and crime gangs have stretched Nigerian security forces thin.

Many are hoping the creation of new bases and state police arms will help keep the kidnappers away.

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