By Open Doors 13 March 2024 4 MIN

Pray for Nigeria | Over 200 Schoolchildren Abducted

On Thursday, 7 March 2024, more than 200 children were taken from the primary and secondary schools in Kuriga village, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

“Students were kidnapped from the school premises on Thursday morning around 8:00 am (local time). About 287 students are still in the hands of the bandits, 100 from the primary side and 187 from the secondary school,” the state’s police spokesman, Mansur Hassan, told CNN, adding that “over 300 students were initially kidnapped, but some were rescued.”

This comes only days after it was reported that internally displaced people from Gamboru Ngala, a market town in Borno State, were taken by suspected Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province fighters. 

It is unclear who is responsible for the kidnapping of the schoolchildren or their motive. Kidnap for ransom has become a lucrative business in northern Nigeria but especially in the northwest where Fulani militants and criminal gangs are active. 

Attacks and Kidnappings Worsening Over Time

“For many of us, this will be a reminder of when 276 mostly Christian female students aged from 16 to 18 were kidnapped by the Islamist terrorist group from their secondary school in Chibok – which was also from Borno State – in April 2014,” said Open Doors Spokesperson for the work in Sub-Saharan Africa, Jo Newhouse.

“But these are not isolated abductions. Attacks and kidnappings – particularly in the north of Nigeria – have seriously worsened over the last decade. Christians are among those who are especially targeted.

“The Nigerian Government is failing to discharge its duty to protect its citizens from violence and attacks.

“Arms proliferation, impunity, and government inaction has allowed the expansion of Boko Haram and increasing violence in the north of Nigeria, where attacks by armed bandits on villages and schools are becoming endemic.”

According to Open Doors research, more than 37,500 people are estimated to have been killed since Boko Haram’s insurgency started in 2011.

Nigeria is ranked at number six on Open Doors’ World Watch List where life for Christians is the most dangerous. 

Pray for Nigeria:

  • Pray for the children who have been kidnapped. May they be aware of God’s presence and peace wherever they are.
  • Pray for the government to act swiftly to reunite all children with their parents.
  • Pray for the parents and caregivers of the children who were taken.

*Names changed for security reasons.

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