Armed Banditry and Mass School Abductions in Northern Nigeria: Implications for National Security

Goddy Uwa Osimen, Basil Osayin Daudu


Security threats in Nigeria, due to activities of armed bandits/extremist such as kidnapping school children for ransom is one of the major prevalent insecurity issues that threaten to collapse government structures in the country. Nigeria is currently groaning under the yoke of the jihadist/Islamic movement, secessionist’s movement and all manners of criminalities. The recent spate of abductions and mass kidnapping of school children represents one of the existential threats to the future of education in northern Nigeria. The problems have provoked serious concerns across the nation, has called for urgent and holistic resolution. It has continued to be precarious, volatile and highly unpredictable, therefore creating untold fear on the people in the region; exacerbate the close down of many schools, food crisis situation, sexual molestation/slavery, and increasing wave of Internally Displaced Persons. Government’s response to the challenges has generally been ineffectual, uncoordinated and poorly executed. This paper, therefore, examines the mainstream of armed banditry, hostage taking/kidnapping in northern schools and their security threats to Nigeria. This paper anchored on “Failed state theory” and data were sourced through secondary means and analyzed qualitatively. The paper revealed that lack of education, mass illiteracy and lack of employment opportunities are among the root causes of the criminalities, banditry, and terrorism in northern Nigeria. Hence, government cannot be passive about this security challenge. It is obviously clear that government has failed in her duty to provide basic needs and has also failed to defend and protect her people. Therefore, government should address the root causes of insecurity in the northern Nigeria including overhauling the security architecture system among other policies geared towards eliminating structural imbalance in the region.


Armed banditry; Kidnapping; Abductions; Security threat; Nigeria

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