Muslim Fulani herdsmen have kidnapped six teenage girls and two staff members at gunpoint from a Christian-run high school in north-central Nigeria amid escalating violence in the region.
Sources told Morning Star News, a nonprofit persecution watchdog outlet, that armed Fulani invaded Engravers’ College in Kakau Daji village, in Chikun County Local Government Area near Kaduna city, on October 2 as students and staff members fled into the bushes.
Eight victims — Joel Adamu, the vice-principal of academics, the house mistress, and six female students — were taken away at gunpoint.
Shunom Giwa, vice principal of Engravers’ College, said that five armed herdsmen appeared at his house and ordered him to lie down. A few minutes later, another set of the armed Fulani herdsmen appeared at his house with Joel Adamu, the school’s vice-principal of academics, and they ordered his colleague to lie on the floor beside him.
“When I discovered that their attention was on my colleague, I just ran into the bush, and on realizing I was escaping, they shot at me, but fortunately they didn’t get me,” Giwa said. “They searched for me without success, and when they couldn’t get me, they started looking for where the students were.”
“When we recovered from the shock of what was happening, we started doing a headcount to know which students were missing,” Giwa said. “We are trusting God for the protection of the captives and hoping they would be released without being hurt.”
The kidnappers have contacted school officials with their demands for ransom, initially demanding 30 million naira (US$82,327) per student before negotiating lower.
While the school has a secular curriculum, it includes a Christian perspective, and students take Christian Religious Knowledge as a subject. The school has a student population of 100, with rampant insecurity in the state compelling some parents to withdraw their children from the school, Giwa said.
Julde Juli, whose 15-year-old daughter was among those kidnapped, told Morning Star News he is trusting God with his daughter’s future.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett