Rescued Nigerian schoolboys arrive at state authorities home

“They took us into the forest, we walked for 2 days with out having something to eat and so they have been beating us,” 14-year-old Murtala Sale advised CNN.

“Some [of us] felt sick as a result of we had not eaten for the 2 days, they chose the sick ones and gave them meals to eat,” he added.

The kids, many with blankets and coated in mud, arrived on closely guarded buses earlier than disembarking and strolling barefoot previous traces of palm bushes into the constructing named after the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari.

Greater than 300 schoolboys have been kidnapped within the assault on December 11 on the Authorities Science Secondary College Kankara in Katsina State. The Nigerian navy rescued 344 of them late on Thursday, and so they have been obtained on the state capital governor Aminu Bello Masari.

The boys sat silently in entrance of microphones in a theater whereas Masari spoke to the press.

“I may also use this chance to reward and thank the efforts made your complete safety equipment,” he mentioned. “To the dad and mom, I feel let’s thank Allah for his mercies, we have now no means given up hope.”

It was a memorable day for the state and the boys, he added, suggesting that the kidnapping ought to type a part of their “historical past” and “journey to maturity.”

Why can't Nigeria protect its children from Boko Haram?

A 13-year-old boy named Jamilu Suleiman mentioned the abductors took the boys to a forest, the place they spent days strolling.

“They often give babies weapons and sticks to beat us simply to show and fulfill their worth. They gave us bread, a single groundnut cake, for your complete day,” he added.

Ashiru Malumfashi, a father of one of many kidnapped kids, mentioned he was traumatized the kidnapping and the situation of the youngsters.

“However the way in which the federal government has proven concern on the matter, we thank them and we hope that we do not get to see this occur once more.”

“We can’t quantify the extent of trauma we have now been via,” one other guardian advised CNN from exterior the state home. “My son’s identify is Ali Buhari… I’m not sending him again, I’m not sending him again [to school].”

Masari’s spokesperson, Abdu Labaran, advised CNN on Thursday that Boko Haram was not concerned, however quite the boys have been kidnapped bandits masquerading because the Islamist terrorist group.

CNN has not been in a position to independently confirm this.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari greeted the information in an announcement posted to Twitter, saying: “It is a enormous reduction to your complete nation & worldwide neighborhood.”

Buhari additionally requested residents to be “affected person and truthful” to the federal government amid fierce criticism of the nation’s persistent safety points.

Earlier within the week, a person claiming to be Abubakar Shekau, a frontrunner of considered one of Boko Haram’s factions, mentioned his group was accountable for the kidnapping in a quick audio message and video which confirmed the youngsters.

Masari has dismissed these messages and mentioned as a substitute that “native bandits” have been “mimicking” his speech.

A group of schoolboys gather at Katsina State government house following their release after they were kidnapped last week

Unicef, the United Nations company accountable for offering humanitarian help to kids, mentioned that far too typically in Nigeria, kids are the “goal of assault.”

“Assaults on instructional amenities are a grave violation of youngsters’s rights,” mentioned the company’s Nigeria consultant, Peter Hawkins, in an announcement on Friday. “This incident is a disturbing reminder of the heavy toll that violence takes on civilians in north-west Nigeria, together with kids.”

Whereas kidnapping for ransom legal components has turn into extra widespread, an abduction of this scale is exceptional in Katsina State. It recollects the brutal kidnapping of 276 ladies from Chibok in 2014 Shekau’s group. Greater than 100 of these ladies no means returned dwelling.

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