Kidnapped students released in Nigeria
The two-hundred-and-seventy-nine students of the GGSS Jangebee Secondary School in the state of Zamfara, in the north-west of Nigeria, kidnapped on the night of the 25th of February have been released.
Fr. Patrick Tor Alumuku, director of social communications of the Archdiocese of Abuja and director of the “Catholic Television of Nigeria”, confirmed that all the kidnapped girls had been released.
Initially, the total number of girls kidnapped by an armed group was reported to be 317. Authorities later claimed that the female students kidnapped from their dormitory by a group of around 100 gunmen was 279.
After last Sunday’s Angelus on the 28th of February, Pope Francis made an urgent appeal for their release, asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
“I join my voice with that of the Bishops of Nigeria to condemn the vile abduction of 317 girls, taken away from their school, to Jangebe, in the northwest of the country. I pray for these girls, that they may return home soon. I am close to their families and to the girls themselves. Let us pray to Our Lady that she safeguard them”, said the Holy Father.
“Pope Francis’s appeal was very well received here in Nigeria – says Fr. Alumuku – not only because the Holy Father has asked for the release of the girls, but above all because we realise that we need voices from abroad to make people understand what is happening in Nigeria”.