The mass kidnapping draws attention to Nigeria’s persistent problem of the extremist insurgency.
For more than 10 years, Boko Haram has engaged in a bloody campaign to introduce strict Islamic rule. Thousands have been killed and more than a million people displaced by the violence.
Boko Haram has been mainly active in northeast Nigeria, but with the abductions from the school in Katsina state, they have increased their attacks into the northwest.
The Islamic extremist group has carried out mass abductions of students before. In Chibok, in April 2014, more than 270 schoolgirls were taken from their school in northeastern Borno State. About 100 of the girls are still missing.
In February 2014, 59 boys were killed when Boko Haram attacked the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State.
“Boko Haram is an outcome of the fact that there is a low level of education in Northern Nigeria,” said Prof. Sylvester Odion-Akhaine of Lagos State University.
He said the ongoing unrest is worsening the region’s socio-economic problems.
The kidnappings have highlighted that education is under attack in Nigeria, said Amnesty International.
Katsina State shut down all its boarding schools after the attack on the secondary school at Kankara. The government of Zamfara State, next to Katsina, has closed 10 schools as a precaution. Jigawa and Kano States have also ordered schools to close, according to Nigeria’s Premium Times.
Many Nigerians are blaming President Muhammadu Buhari for the security lapses in the country.
The opposition People’s Democratic Party says the abduction of the students in Katsina, the home state of the president, who was on a visit there at the time of the attack, raises serious questions over the government’s capacity to fight insurgency.
The opposition party said that the inability of the government to ensure Nigeria’s security has opened the country for terrorists, bandits, vandals, and insurgents.