Two German archaeologists working at Jenjela village in Kaduna State were snatched by unidentified gunmen on Wednesday 22 February 2017. Two local men, identified as Anas Ibrahim and Adamu Abdulrahim, who tried to intervene were killed during the incident. The gunmen demanded payment of a ransom of 60 million Niara (about US$ 200 000) for the release of Peter Breunig and Johannes Buringer of the Goethe University in Frankfurt. The men were released late on Saturday 25 February, after an operation by local security services. No ransom is reported to have been paid, and details of any arrests made have not been released. The men are recovering from their ideals at the German Embassy in Abuja.
Peter Breunig of Goethe University with an artifact from a Nigerian archaeological site. Daily Post.
Kidnapping is a common problem in Nigeria, with foreigners often targeted as they are perceived as wealthier than the local population. It is one of a number of law and order problems that have developed as a rapidly rising population finds it cannot sustain itself through traditional activities such as agriculture, but wealth generated by new industries such as oil has failed to reach much of the population.
The archaeologists were investigating the Iron Age Nok Culture of Nigeria, which flourished in the area around the Benue Plateau between about 500 BC and 200 AD, and which is noted for its clay figurines of people and animals, which are considered to be cultural forebears of the later bronze figures of southwest Nigeria.
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