Gunmen abduct 317 schoolgirls in Nigeria in wave of mass abductions; “Hoping on Divine intervention”

Monday, March 1, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Armed terrorists abducted 317 girls from a boarding school in Nigeria’s Kagara state Friday, the Christian Post reports. The mass kidnapping was the second such attack in the state in two weeks, and the latest case in a wave of Nigerian terrorist kidnappings for ransom.

According to the Wall Street Journal,  the schoolgirls were taken by gunmen from the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe after 1 am Friday. Some of them were forced into vehicles while others were made to walk into the vast Rugu forest.

Nasiru Abdullahi, a father whose two daughters were kidnapped, told the Associated Press that the gunmen had succeeded in their attack despite a “strong” military presence close to the school. Another AP source added that, prior to the abduction, the militants had attacked soldiers at the checkpoint and nearby military camp, preventing them from being able to help. “At this stage, we are only hoping on divine intervention,” Abdullahi said.

In a statement, UNICEF's Nigeria representative, Peter Hawkins, called on the Nigerian government to ensure the safe release of the girls and to protect all school children in Nigeria.  “This is a gross violation of children’s rights and a horrific experience for children to go through — one which could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and well-being.”

Tweeting about the attack, Human Rights Watch Nigeria researcher Anietie Ewang asserted: “The repeated school abductions in Nigeria’s northwest are a worrying sign that children have become prime targets for criminal gangs seeking recognition of financial gain.”

This school attack happened less than two weeks after a similar attack in northwest Nigeria where gunmen abducted 42 individuals, including 27 schoolboys, from the Government Science College in Kagara on Feb. 17. The 42 kidnapped students, parents, and teachers are still being held captive, according to CBN.

Kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative industry for terrorist groups in Nigeria, according to The Wall Street Journal.