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Students Kidnapped in Recent Attack on Christian School in Plateau State, Nigeria

Posted by on May 4, 2021 — Drop A Comment


One Christian student
remains captive after three others
escaped abduction on Thursday (April
29) byFulani herdsmen from a
Christian missions school in Plateau
state, Nigeria, sources said.
School and government officials said
the four students were kidnapped from
The King’s School, a Christian missions
school established by Calvary
Ministries (CAPRO) in Gana Ropp
village, Barkin Ladi County.
“Please pray for us, as we’re under
attack here at our school in Gana Ropp
village,” Bayo Famonure, head of the
institution, had said in a text message
to Morning Star News on Thursday
(April 29).
After security agents repelled the
herdsmen, Famonure sent another
message to Morning Star News: “Four
students were kidnapped, three
escaped from the herdsmen, and one
student is still being held captive.”
He added that security agents said
they believe the herdsmen might be
close by, “as the student being held by
them phoned us to say they were
already in the Fulani herdsmen’s camp,
barely 20 minutes after he was
captured and taken away.”
The Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam,
president of the Para-Mallam Peace
Foundation, said the attackers broke
the rear fence of the school, drilling a
hole to gain access to the compound
and abduct the students.
Para-Mallam told Morning Star News
by phone that security agencies
prevented what could have been
another mass abduction.
“Bayo Famonure, head of the
institution, said that the herdsmen took
to their heels after realizing the
reinforcement of security agents in the
area,” Para-Mallam said. “Let’s pray
that God will work out the release of
the abducted student, and as many
that are also in captivity, especially
students of Greenfield university and
College of Forestry & Mechanisation
both in Kaduna, Chibok girls in Borno,
Leah Sharibu and others, in Jesus’
name.”

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Gana Ropp village is located along the
Jos-Barkin Ladi-Bokkos highway, about
60 kilometers (37 miles) from Jos.
CAPRO is an international,
interdenominational Christian missions
agency in Nigeria with more than 700
missionaries from 26 countries serving
in 35 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa
and North Africa. The school is the
educational arm of CAPRO.
Police authorities in Jos confirmed the
attack on the institution and said both
police and military personnel have been
deployed to the area to rescue the
kidnapped student.
“Concerted efforts are on towards
rescuing the victim and arresting the
perpetrators,” said police spokesman
Ubah Gabriel Ogaba in a press
statement.
PRIEST, PASTOR’S WIFE KILLED
In Benue state, Fulani herdsmen were
suspected in the killing of a Roman
Catholic priest, the Rev. Ferdinand
Fanen Ngugban, on March 30.
Priest at St. Paul’s Catholic Church at
Aye-Twar (Agu Centre) village in
Katsina-Ala County, Ngugban and three
of his parishioners were shot dead that
morning, said Gbande Ulogo, a member
of the parish.
“The herdsmen invaded the Christian
community and set some houses
alight. They then proceeded to the
church, where they killed the priest and
three parishioners,” Gbande said in a
text message to Morning Star News.
Alfred Atera, council chairman of the
Katsina Ala Local Government Council,
gave the names of the three
parishioners as Mfave Tumachihi,
Mbangohor Tsebo and Orlukaa Ulu.
Area resident Christopher Utaver
described the priest as a defender of
the defenseless and a martyr.
“Having the thought that I will live
never to glance at you face to face
again is traumatic to my heart,” Utaver
said. “You fought the good fight, father,
and you accomplished your mission
here in this cruel and wicked world that
hates truth and light. You defended the
innocent and defenseless congregation.
You never denied your priesthood but
stood firm even when your murderers
stood close with guns pointed at you.”
Police spokesperson Sewuese Anene
confirmed the attack.
“There was an attack on St. Paul’s
Catholic Church in Kastina-Ala Local
Government Area (LGA) by bandits,
and a joint operation of police and
other security agencies are on the trail
of them,” she said in a statement.
Two days before the attack, the wife of
a Pentecostal church in Otukpo, Benue
state, was killed. Eunice Omaye Odoba,
residents said, was murdered March
28 at her home.
Her brother, Mark Odoba, said she was
stabbed to death by herdsmen. When
church members noticed her missing
from the Sunday worship service, they
found her in a pool of blood at her
home, he said in a text to Morning Star
News.
“A dagger was used in attacking and
killing her, and we believe she was
killed by herdsmen as her house is
located in the outskirts of the town,”
Odoba said. “The members of her
church reported the incident to the
police, who are currently investigating
the act.”
Nigeria led the world in number of
kidnapped Christians last year with
990, according to Open Doors’ 2021
World Watch List report. In the 2021
list of the countries where it is most
difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria broke
into the top 10 for the first time,
jumping to No. 9 from No. 12 the
previous year.
Nigeria was the country with the most
Christians killed for their faith last year
(November 2019-October 2020), at
3,530, up from 1,350 in 2019,
according to the WWL report. In overall
violence, Nigeria was second only to
Pakistan, and it trailed only China in
the number of churches attacked or
closed, 270, according to the list.
Numbering in the millions across
Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly
Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of
clans of many different lineages who
do not hold extremist views, but some
Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist
ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-
Party Parliamentary Group for
International Freedom or Belief (APPG)
noted in a recent report .
“They adopt a comparable strategy to
Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State
West Africa Province] and demonstrate
a clear intent to target Christians and
potent symbols of Christian identity,”
the APPG report states.
Christian leaders in Nigeria have said
they believe herdsmen attacks on
Christian communities in Nigeria’s
Middle Belt are inspired by their desire
to forcefully take over Christians’ lands
and impose Islam as desertification
has made it difficult for them to
sustain their herds.
The APPG report noted that tribal
loyalties cannot be overlooked.
“In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani,
was elected president of Nigeria,” the
group reported. “He has done virtually
nothing to address the behavior of his
fellow tribesmen in the Middle Belt and
in the south of the country.”
The U.S. State Department on Dec. 7
added Nigeria to its list of Countries of
Particular Concern for engaging in or
tolerating “systematic, ongoing,
egregious violations of religious
freedom.” Nigeria joined Burma, China,
Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan,
Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and
Turkmenistan on the list.
In a more recent category of non-state
actors, the State Department also
designated ISWAP, Boko Haram, Al-
Shabaab, Al-Qaeda, Hayat Tahrir al-
Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater
Sahara, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal
Muslimin, and the Taliban as “Entities
of Particular Concern.”
On Dec. 10 the prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court, Fatou
Bensouda, issued a statement calling
for investigation into crimes against
humanity in Nigeria.


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