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After more than 140 students were abducted from a Christian boarding school in Kaduna State in north-western Nigeria, authorities have ordered the closure of schools in the area, identifying them as “vulnerable”.

The head of the Kaduna State Schools Quality Assurance Authority sent a letter last week to 13 schools in the state, most of which are run by Christian groups. The letter ordered the schools to halt all classes temporarily. The letter stated that the decision to close the schools was made at a meeting with the National Association of proprietors of 

Sources: Christian Post, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Reuters

Private Schools (NAPPS) and some key stakeholders. Kaduna State has become an epicentre for abductions in Nigeria, where four kidnapping incidents took place within 24 hours last week.

 

Last Monday, the day senior students were scheduled to take their final exams at Bethel Baptist High School in the Chikun local government area, armed assailants barged into the compound and abducted at least 140 of them.

 

The head of Kaduna’s Baptist conference said at least 28 students had been reunited with their families. A teacher has also reportedly been rescued while the search continues for remaining hostages.

The abductors promised the parents that their children would not starve if they provided rice, beans, palm oil, salt and stock cubes. They said a ransom demand would follow.

Terrorist groups with a foothold in the region, like Boko Haram, have carried out mass kidnappings in recent years, including kidnapping over 200 girls from a school in Chibok in 2014. Last Monday’s abduction was the 10th mass kidnapping in northwest Nigeria since December.

Many Nigerians have raised concerns about what they perceive as the government’s inaction in holding terrorists accountable for the rising number of attacks and kidnappings.

Let us pray.

  • Ask the Lord for His intervention. Pray for protection for those who have been abducted. Ask God to comfort their families.
  • Pray that the Nigerian government would take stronger action in protecting its citizens from violence and abduction. Pray they will seek justice.
  • Pray for the perpetrators of these crimes, that the Lord would frustrate their plans and bring true repentance.