“We can’t even imagine their situation,” said one of the parents of the kidnapped students, Aliyu Ladan Gangbe, who gathered with other parents in front of the school where the girls were kidnapped on Sunday. Four of the man’s five daughters belong to a group kidnapped by armed bandits. The fifth, who also studies in the school that was attacked, managed to hide in the bathroom.
“We thank God for that,” he explains, “but you don’t feel well when you have five children and you can only keep one of them safe.”
Nigerian President Mahanadu Buhari said that the release of the kidnapped is a priority for the government. Authorities in Nigeria’s northwest region said the police and army had launched a joint rescue operation.
Pope Francis During Sunday prayers, angels in St. Peter’s Square in Rome said he joins the voice of Nigerian bishops and condemns the “vicious kidnapping” of girls. He also prayed for their quick release.
In Nigeria, students are often kidnapped, and some are organized by armed gangs who kidnap children for ransom. Boko Haram and other fundamentalist groups are also kidnapping students to demonstrate their disagreement with the Western education model, which they believe is inconsistent with traditional Islamic values.
On Saturday, a group of dozens of students, teachers and parents who were kidnapped ten days earlier in Cagara, Niger was released. In December, Boko Haram jihadists kidnapped more than 350 students from the school.
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