By Myke Uzendu
Professor Wole Soyinka has described kidnappings of school children as a new cultural enterprise in Nigeria.
Prof. Soyinka stated it while reacting to the release of 344 Kankara, Katsina State schoolboys, who were kidnapped by bandits on December 11.
The Nobel laureate, speaking on Saturday in Lagos, at the public presentation of Dr Nike Okundaye’s biography written by Kofo Adeleke said:
“So, let me say how delighted I am to be here today, some of the icing on the cake of the last few days, which have been very traumatic for us, Nigerians, and for humanity in general, you know the kidnapping of schoolchildren which seems to have become a Nigerian culture as a new cultural enterprise in Nigeria but I suppose as they say, all is well that ends well, it ended well so far; we await the next blue in-between.
“However, let us rejoice, let us celebrate creativity, let us celebrate the potential of all these children who have been rescued from this monsters, barbarians who just cast a permanent blight on our lives.
“So, thank you for giving us this occasion, for timing this occasion so that it becomes a bigger celebration than even what we are witnessing around us.”
The Kankara incident made it the third time boarding school students would be kidnapped in large numbers in the North.
First was the 276 female secondary school students, most of them Christians, kidnapped by Boko Haram from their school in the town of Chibok in Borno State in 2014,
The second was the 2018 kidnap of 110 Dapchi, Yobe State schoolgirls, also kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorists.
Some of the Chibok girls are still in captivity while Leah Shaibu, a Christian girl, is the only one from the Dapchi incident still in the capacity of the terrorist group.
You may wish to note that over 300 students on Government Science Secondary School Kankara, Katsina State were abducted by gunmen and held for about seven days before their release were secured.