Thirty-nine students were abducted on Thursday during an overnight raid at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, in Afaka, the Igabi local government area of Kaduna State.
“The number of missing students is now confirmed to be 39, comprising 23 females and 16 males,” Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner for Kaduna State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, confirmed in a statement. “The attack occurred just a few hundred meters from the National Defense College, where 3,500 trainee officers are based,” wrote Joe Parkinson of the Wall Street Journal.
Thursday’s raid is the fourth mass kidnapping to occur in Nigeria since December. On Friday, February 26th, armed insurgents kidnapped 279 schoolgirls from the Government Girls Science School in Jangebe, Nigeria. On February 17th, 42 people were kidnapped from the Government Science College in Niger State. In December, 350 boys were kidnapped from a secondary school in northwestern Katsina, later to be rescued by security forces.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated recently that his administration “will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the hope of massive ransom payments.”
While no group has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack, terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, Fulani Militants, and ISWAP are active in northern Nigeria. Translated, Boko Haram loosely means “western education is forbidden”. The groups have wreaked havoc in Nigeria for over a decade, killing tens of thousands of Christians and displacing millions in an attempt to discard western influence and impose strict Islamic Sharia law.
“The recent attacks have raised concern about rising violence by armed gangs and Islamist insurgents. Jihadist group Boko Haram carries out abductions in Nigeria’s turbulent northeast, as does a branch of Islamic State,” explains a recent Reuters report, “The unrest has become a political problem for President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired general and former military ruler who has faced mounting criticism in recent months over high profile attacks by the gangs known locally as ‘bandits’.”
Please pray for the safe return of all who have been kidnapped, for the Lord to comfort grieving parents and families, and for the protection of schools from violent attacks. Please also pray for the perpetrators of these attacks, that they will be granted true repentance and accept Jesus as their saviour.
From the International Christian Concern here.