Families of more than 300 kidnapped Nigerian schoolboys worried that time was running out to find the children, as security forces continued the hunt on Wednesday for armed captors possibly from the jihadist Boko Haram movement.
According to an unverified audio clip, the group – whose name means “Western education is forbidden” – was responsible for last week’s raid on the all-boys school in Kankara town in northwestern Katsina state.
If the audio recording is genuine, last week’s attack marks a significant widening of the group’s influence beyond its northeastern base, security experts say.
The parent of two abducted children, Abubakar Lawal, said he did not believe Boko Haram’s claim and would wait with patience and prayers.
“The government has to do diplomacy in a way to rescue these people in a good manner and to come back safely,” he said, standing outside the school building.
Gunmen on motorcycles stormed the Government Science secondary school on Friday (December 11) night and marched their victims off into a forest, according to pupils who managed to escape kidnap.
An aide to Katsina’s state governor said there was a large presence of soldiers and intelligence officers in a dense forest searching for the missing boys.