The Washington-based human rights organization Global Rights released a study to THISDAY detailing the rising incidents of student abductions in Nigeria. According to its findings, an estimated 939 students were kidnapped from educational institutions across Nigeria between December 2020 and May 2021.
Sections of the report published by THISDAY and attributed to the Executive Director of Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyeku, read as follows:
From 2014 to date, mass school abductions gradually became the norm in Northern Nigeria, and soon the Chibok girls lost their poster children position for school abductions as mass abductions spread to other parts of the country.
In the past 6 months, the abduction of learners has grown astronomically in Nigeria. Between December 2020 and May 2021, at least 939 students were kidnapped bringing to mind again the strategies outlined in the Safe School Initiative.
The very salient question is: What happened to the money dedicated to protecting schools in Nigeria? Have CCTVs been installed at the schools across the federation? Have high perimeter fences been constructed with adequate security personnel provided, most of these abductions may have been prevented?
If Nigeria continues in this trajectory, it will undoubtedly retain its global position as having the highest number of out of school children in the world and jeopardize the future that it badly needs to secure for its teeming population, most of whom fall within school age.
The Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, whose name loosely means “Western education is forbidden,” established the pattern of kidnapping school children in Nigeria for ransom in 2014 when the group abducted 276 mostly Christian girls from a school in Chibok. 2021 has seen several large-scale kidnappings which were originally thought to have been carried out by loosely organized bandits. Recently, Kaduna state governor El Rufai informed the public that these ransoms were used to fund Boko Haram and its extremist agenda.
Please pray for the Lord to comfort grieving families and strengthen their faith during this difficult time. Please also pray for the safe return of all who have been kidnapped, and for their captors, that their hearts would be softened, and that they will experience the love of Christ that leads to true repentance and salvation.
From International Christian Concern here.