Nigerian families are reeling once again—and we weep with them—after yet another school kidnapping has resulted in the abduction of 39 children.
Armed kidnappers attacked the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna last Thursday, the fourth incident of its kind in Nigeria since December.
“The number of missing students is now confirmed to be 39, comprising 23 females and 16 males,” said Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner for Kaduna State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, according to AP News. Aruwan noted that several staff members at the school were also abducted.
The attackers, described by Aruwan as “armed bandits,” fought with military personnel present at the school who rescued some 180 students and a number of staff members.
Aruwan added that the Kaduna state government is “maintaining close communication with the management of the college as efforts are sustained by security agencies towards the tracking of the missing students.”
Shortly after the kidnapping, attackers posted a video of some of the children being violently abused in a demand for millions in ransom money.
A video of some of the students kidnapped from a college in northwest Nigeria emerged on Saturday, showing them cowering on a forest floor as armed captors hit them with sticks.
Video footage shared on social media showed roughly two dozen students begging for help in English and Hausa. One says the captors want a 500 million naira ($1.31 million) ransom.
“If anybody comes to rescue them without the money they are going to kill us,” a male student says in the video as a man with a gun stands behind him.
College Provost Bello Mohammed Usman and the mother of one kidnapped student on Saturday identified those shown in the video as some of the abducted students, including one pregnant woman. Usman declined to comment on the ransom request.
Authorities identified these same “bandits” as those responsible for the kidnapping of 300 schoolgirls last month from a school in Zamfara.
Folks, Nigeria may be thousands of miles from us on the map, but they should be near to us in our hearts and in our prayers before our sustaining Father. Please pray for these precious children to be unharmed, rescued, and protected.
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