Bandits, Not Boko Haram, Responsible for Latest Kidnappings in Nigeria


And welcome to the foreign desk. I'm andrew miller on join first of all from a by the journalist chico oduor who has followed the story of nigeria's kidnappings since the boko haram raid on jabbar festival out into this program. Is this spate of attacks on schools. There has been in the last few days in wake some lodge some small some successful some not. In the general scheme of things how common have attacks on schools like this. Become in nigeria. They've become shockingly common to be honest. it's almost at the point. where were the nigerian. Public is feeling fatigue. And that's really scary. Because dis should be front burning stories but sometimes you get people not even wanting to even know the details because we've heard this before so the attack that happened. This past monday was actually the fourth that happened since december and then last year there are several attacks and what we're seeing of course is that these attackers are no longer really affiliated with the boko haram islamist movement. It's now just bandits. Criminals are looking for money and this has become a very very lucrative business. To be honest money is being funneled to rescue these hostages. And that's what's keeping this thing going. I mean from between june. Two thousand eleven march last year at least eighteen million dollars was paid to kidnappers as ransom. So for example in kara with three hundred. Schoolboys kidnapped this past december. We learned that some of the parents started to negotiate with the kidnappers. The boys when they were abducted and taken to the forest of northern nigeria. That's cat seen a state in the northeast. So the kidnapped boys. They started to make contact with their parents. You know with their cell phones and so they're talking to their parents and they're saying bring this amount of money in order for us to be freed so the parents started trying to find ways to do that dropping bags off here and there at designated points so in that case we did see parents collecting money fundraising amongst themselves. Also we're seeing professional gauche kind of coming to the fore and this especially we see with boko haram related kidnappings. So that's how we're saying that we're seeing this in the form of the parents themselves. So it was so desperate raising money for their children and also professional shooters because this is a huge market business. That has come forth win. Stories like this. Get reported beyond nigeria. Obviously the media tends to frame them in the context of boko haram because everybody thinks back to that huge kidnapping of two hundred and seventy six goals from sheberghan in bona state. Many of whom still haven't been found again but if this is now more just you're straight up and down ransom seeking banditry. Do we know if there is any overlap between the bandit gangs and boko haram. Is there any possibility that these bandit gangs are being used as fundraising proxies if you will you know again. I think the pentagon where the kidnapping takes place. Those possibilities do exist for example. The one that happened in december with three hundred. Schoolboys boko haram responsibility. But i'm of the belief that it was not boko haram and what's happening in that part of nigeria. There's been a lot of artistic gold mining and so some people feel that that industry which is a very murky industry extraction of gold is somehow contributing to the rise and kidnappings in northeastern nigeria. Sorry northwestern nigeria which is where it happened in december but casino which is where. We saw the kidnappings in the past. Few days is not part of that. So we haven't really seen much bokram activity in kaduna. In the past few years to be honest do a has been a hotbed of just bandits. Guys who literally take up residence in the forest and for the past five years. We've been seeing these kidnappers first of all attacking motorist going from the buddha kaduna expressway. That's been their operation for the past four years. So if you're trying to go up to do now which is a two hour journey. A journey from asia. You could get kidnapped. But now they've gone and started targeting children but it's the same group of people and they have no bocom affiliation at all to be honest so they went from kidnapping motorist and they target sometimes. The huge lorries of passengers coach buses. That take people back and forth. They could also target taxes that tend to be carrying more well to do nigerians. But now they've realized that kidnapping children it's more

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