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11 March 2024

280+ children abducted in another Nigeria attack

Please pray for the safe return of the women and children who have been abducted in two recent attacks in Nigeria

Nigeria children
Hundreds of schoolchildren have been abducted - please pray for their safe return (illustrative image)

Days after Boko Haram militants abducted up to 200 women and children from an IDP camp in Borno State, north east Nigeria, another appalling attack has taken place in Kaduna State. Hundreds of children have been taken from a primary school and a secondary school in Kuriga village.

"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, “Over 300 students were initially kidnapped, but some were rescued.”

It is unclear who is responsible for the kidnapping of the schoolchildren or their motive. Kidnap for ransom has become a lucrative bussiness in northern Nigeria, but especially in the north west where Fulani militants and criminal gangs are active. It is not known whether faith is a motive for the attack.

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

Please pray

  • For the children kidnapped to know God's presence and peace
  • For these children to swiftly be returned to their parents and loved ones
  • For the church in Kaduna to be a place of comfort and strength.

8 March 2024

Boko Haram militants abduct hundreds of women and children in Nigeria

A rural scene in Nigeria; a woman carries a bundle of firewood on her head.

The women and children were taken from an IDP camp as they were collecting firewood (image is illustrative)

Dozens of women and children living in a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in north east Nigeria are feared to have been abducted by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.   

Reports suggest that up to 200 people could have been taken by insurgents from Gamboru Ngala, a small town in Borno State, when they were going to collect firewood.

“Attacks and kidnappings have seriously worsened” Jo Newhouse, Open Doors spokesperson

Open Doors spokesperson for the region, Jo Newhouse*, says, “We are horrified at this latest mass abduction of mostly women and children by Boko Haram in Nigeria and call for their immediate release.

“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.” 

More than 100 of the Chibok girls – now women – remain in captivity as of today. The families of the hostages hardly ever receive updates on the government’s efforts to release them.   

Nigeria’s government is ‘failing to protect citizens’ 

“These are not isolated abductions,” Jo continues. “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.” 

This year, Nigeria remains at number six on Open Doors’ World Watch List. More believers are killed for their faith in Nigeria each year than everywhere else in the world, combined. 

Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, says, “We are urgently calling on the Nigerian president to liberate those abducted in this appalling attack on a group of people who are already traumatised and displaced because of insecurity.   

“Boko Haram is notorious for targeting Christians” Henrietta Blyth, Open Doors UK and Ireland CEO

“Boko Haram is notorious for targeting Christians, abducting and killing men and abducting, raping and forcibly marrying women and girls.  

“We also urge the Nigerian government to work to get the hostages already held by Boko Haram liberated – including young Christian girls such as Leah Sharibu and the Chibok girls who are still held captive.” 

Psalm 10 tells us that God ‘sees the trouble of the afflicted’ and asks Him to ‘call the evildoer to account for his wickedness’ (verses 14-15). Please pray with us for all held captive and attacked by extremists in Nigeria. 

*Name changed for security reasons 

Please pray
  • For God to strengthen and protect and free the women and children who’ve been taken by the extremists
  • For the safety of vulnerable believers living in IDP camps across Nigeria
  • That God will convict the hearts of the extremists and cause them to repent and return to Him.
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