My contact in Nigeria informs me that the “bandits” in this case are Fulani herdsmen, who are dedicated to Islamic jihad activity in order to establish a caliphate in West Africa.
The taking of hostages is primarily for money-making purposes, though some captives may be enslaved. “As for the captives, the amir [ruler] has the choice of taking the most beneficial action of four possibilities: the first to put them to death by cutting their necks; the second, to enslave them and apply the laws of slavery regarding their sale and manumission; the third, to ransom them in exchange for goods or prisoners; and fourth, to show favor to them and pardon them. Allah, may he be exalted, says, ‘When you encounter those [infidels] who deny [the Truth=Islam] then strike [their] necks’ (Qur’an sura 47, verse 4)” — Al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah (The Laws of Islamic Governance).
“Bandits abduct 80 children in Zamfara,” by Ardo Hazzad, Peoples Gazette, April 7, 2023:
No fewer than 80 children were Friday morning abducted by bandits in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
The children are between the ages of 12 and 17, BBC Hausa reported.
Some parents of the abducted children who spoke to the British broadcaster said the victims were in the bush fetching firewood at about 8:00 a.m. when the assailants rounded them up and marched them away into the forest.
Bandits’ activities have refused to abate in Zamfara despite several government intervention to stem the criminal activity. Hundreds of schoolchildren have been kidnapped and some later released upon payment of ransom….