Nigeria: Kaduna state closes 13 mostly Christian schools as abductions spiral

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Amid a catastrophic situation of relentless kidnappings in Nigeria’s Kaduna state, the local Schools Quality Assurance Authority (SQAA) has ordered the closure of 13, mostly Christian, schools which it identified as being “vulnerable” to attacks by Islamic militants who abduct students, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports. Following the kidnapping of 140 pupils from Bethel Baptist High School on July 5th, CSW said Kaduna has become an “epicenter for kidnapping.”

The decision to close the schools was taken at a “meeting with the National Association of proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) and some key stakeholders,” the SQAA director-general said in a letter dated July 5. The schools being closed include the Deeper Life Academy in Maraban Rido, Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Secondary School in Ungwar Maje, St Peter’s Minor Seminary in Katari, and Bethel Baptist High School, CSW said.

The massive attack on the Bethel Baptist school was just one of four attacks that took place within 24 hours that day, CSW reports. According to a CSW source, Kaduna state is “under siege from kidnappers and other criminals. This is a statement of fact. The only people relatively safe are those within the city or [Local Government] headquarters.”

In a communique dated July 6, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has “indeed lost grip on the leadership of this nation, especially in his ability to provide security for citizens” and should “seek foreign assistance before it is too late.”

CSW’s CEO Scot Bower added in a statement: “The closures and withdrawal of children from educational facilities is a desperate measure, giving the unfortunate impression of an inability to address a situation that has been allowed to spiral inexorably. This decision is likely to hurt the education and future prospects of the students concerned, while merely offering a short-term solution to a phenomenon which is part of a statewide crisis requiring a comprehensive response.”