A video was released on Saturday showing the 39 students abducted from the College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna State last Thursday pleading to be rescued from their captors. According to Reuters, the footage circling on social media shows the students laying on the forest floor while armed men in military uniform beat them with sticks.
“We appeal to the government to help us.” Says a student in the video, identified as Benson Emmanuel, “Most of us here have been badly injured. Time is going… these people have surrounded us, saying anybody that comes from anywhere to come and rescue us or do anything by force, they are going to take our lives”.
According to Reuters, the insurgents are asking for 500-million-naira ($1.31 million) ransom. “If anybody comes to rescue them without the money, they are going to kill us,” says another male student in the video.
Also on Saturday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari released a statement via spokesperson Garba Shehu, issuing a warning against the “terrorists and bandits” who are targeting schools. Thursday’s abduction 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.
“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. Pray for their captors, that their hearts will be softened, and they will experience the love of Christ that leads to true repentance and salvation. Pray for the Lord to comfort grieving parents and families, for the Nigerian government to be wise in dealing with terrorists, and for the protection of schools from any future attacks.
From the International Christian Concern here.