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04/09/2021 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – According to the Nigerian news source Daily Trust, 10 out of the 39 students abducted from Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna State last month have been freed. The students were reportedly released in groups, five of whom were freed on Monday, and an additional five on Thursday.

“One of the earlier released students, Francis Paul, had narrated how the bandits selected five of them and asked them to mount motorbikes after which they were dropped off on a highway,” wrote the Nigerian Voice,

“Daily Trust had reported that following continuous negotiations between the bandits and parents of the students, the bandits hinted that the students would be released in batches.”

The students were abducted on March 11th by gunmen demanding N50 million (about $122,916) for their release. 

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, released a statement on Sunday informing the public that anyone who tried to pay the ransom on the government’s behalf would be prosecuted.

“The position of the Kaduna State Government remains the same: the Government will not negotiate with or pay ransoms to bandits,” said Aruwan.

“Any person who claims to do so in any capacity, if found, will be prosecuted accordingly.”

Attacks on schools have dramatically increased in Nigeria over the last few years, as kidnappers have capitalized on obtaining large ransom payments. The Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram established the pattern of kidnapping school children for ransom in 2014, when the group abducted 276 mostly Christian girls from a school in Chibok. Over 100 of those girls are still missing today. 2021 has already seen several large-scale kidnappings which were originally thought to have been carried out by loosely organized bandits. Recently, Kaduna state governor El Rufai informed the public that these ransoms were used to fund Boko Haram.

Please pray for the safe return of all who have been kidnapped. Pray for their captors, that their hearts would be softened, and that they will experience the love of Christ that leads to true repentance and salvation. Pray for the Lord to comfort grieving parents and families, for the Nigerian government to be wise in dealing with terrorists, and for the protection of schools from any future attacks.

For interviews please contact Alison Garcia at [email protected]