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02/25/2021 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Seven people were killed this past Sunday morning when a military plane crashed while taking off out of Nigeria’s Abuja airport.

“A military aircraft King Air 350 has just crashed short of our Abuja runway after reporting engine failure enroute [to] Minna. It appears to be fatal,” stated the country’s aviation minister, Hadi Sirika.

Since the fatal incident, rumors of “foul play” have been circulating regarding the origins of the engine failure. According to a recent report by The Daily Beast, the officers killed in the crash knew the exact whereabouts of the 42 people abducted from Government Science College last Wednesday: “The crew—led by Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama, the aircraft captain, and Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo, the co-pilot—had been in Minna, the capital of Nigeria’s north-central Niger state, for days conducting intelligence-gathering missions in connection with concerted efforts to secure the release of 42 people, including 27 students.”

“They had a clue of where the students were located at the time and were preparing to survey the area when the crash happened,” an officer from the Nigerian Air Force told The Daily Beast, “[they] would have been able to report the exact location of everyone kidnapped from the Kagara school.”

Nigerian’s aviation minister Hadi Sirika responded to these allegations, tweeting: “We should remain calm and wait for the outcome of the investigation by the military”.

Nigerian citizens and political leaders are frustrated with the Muslim-dominated government that is believed to be enabling Fulani atrocities. On December 7th, The U.S. State Department added Nigeria to their list of Countries of Particular Concern for tolerating “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.” According to the Daily Beast report, “Nigerian authorities have often been accused of protecting armed groups affiliated with the Fulani tribe from the predominantly Muslim northern region of Nigeria, where President Muhammadu Buhari is from. Most of the officers killed in Sunday’s plane crash were from southern Nigeria, a predominantly Christian region.”

Please pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian government, that God will give them the wisdom and strength to eradicate corruption in their political systems. Please pray for the safe return of all who have been kidnapped, for the Lord to comfort grieving parents and families, and for the protection of schools from violent attacks.

For interviews please contact Alison Garcia at [email protected].