“School children abductions must be stopped from happening”: Christian Leaders in Nigeria

Logo of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)/ Credit: Courtesy Photo

Representatives of Christian leaders in Nigeria have called on the country’s government to ensure there is an end to cases of the abduction of school-going children in the West African nation this year. 

The Vice Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the Northern region said another school abduction in 2022 would mean the government has “completely fallen” and surrendered to “bandits who are offshoots of Boko Haram.”

“School children abductions must be stopped from happening this year. If the government does not take measures to stop school abduction, then the government would have completely fallen and given in to the bandits who are offshoots of Boko Haram,” Rev. Joseph Ayahab has been quoted as saying in The Punch Monday, January 3 report.

According to the CAN official, the bandits who do not believe in Western education abduct school-going children not because of money, but to discourage them from going to school.

“We may not understand the implication of their actions until many years later,” Rev. Ayahab says in reference to the kidnapping of school-going children in Nigeria. 


For this reason, the CAN official calls on the government of the West African nation to ensure all schools in the country are secure.

“The government must prove it is in charge. We must not allow them (insurgents) to win. We must not play with the future of our children,” Rev. Ayahab says. 

In the report, the official of the Christian entity that includes representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) says that Nigerians “must do everything possible to encourage education.” 

In a report released November last year, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said at least 1,440 students were abducted in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.  

The UN agency also indicated that there were 25 attacks on Nigerian schools in the period between January and November 2021. 

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Last month, UNICEF ranked Nigeria as one of the countries with the highest number of “verified abductions” in Africa. 

“Nigerian children continue to suffer the impact of crisis. A protracted conflict has been raging in north-east Nigeria for 12 years now. Thousands of children in the region have been killed, maimed, abducted, displaced, and experienced multiple violations of their human rights,” UNICEF officials said in the December 31 report.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.