27 students, 3 teachers and 12 staff-family members were kidnapped from Government Science College in Niger State by suspected Islamic extremists. The attack took place during the early morning hours of Wednesday, February 17th, when men dressed in military uniform overpowered security guards at the school.
“We are appealing to the Government to please rescue them”, Aliyu Garba, a father of one of the missing students told Africa News.
President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a rescue operation in which Nigerian security forces are tracking the perpetrators via surveillance helicopter.
While no group has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack, Boko Haram and other Islamic terrorist groups are active in northern Nigeria. Translated, Boko Haram literally means “Western education is forbidden”. Attacks on schools have increased over the last few years, causing concern that parents will no longer want to send their kids to school due to the lapses in security. Two months ago, 350 boys were kidnapped from a secondary school in northwestern Katsina. In 2018, Boko Haram abducted 110 girls from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State. Earlier in 2014, 276 girls were abducted in Chibok, an incident that sparked outrage across the globe.
Former Nigerian senator and previous student at the school, Shehu Sani, spoke to CNN regarding the overwhelming security threat in the area: “The town is at the epicentre of the insurgency in Niger State.” He said, “Fulani bandits operate within the axis and there are thousands of people displaced in this area.”
Terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, Fulani Militants, and ISWAP have killed tens of thousands of Christians and displaced millions in an attempt to discard western influence and impose strict Islamic Sharia law. Illia Djadi, Open Doors senior analyst on freedom of religion and belief in sub-Saharan Africa, stated: “In the northeast of Nigeria, Boko Haram spreads terror with its systematic raids on predominantly Christian communities with abductions, sexual violence, and roadblock killings… Christians have been specifically targeted and disproportionately been affected by this violence… The responses by the government are clearly not enough, since perpetrators of such violence are able to continue attacking Christians, and other Nigerians, with impunity.”
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 International Christian Concern here.