AFRICA/NIGERIA - Pentecostal church attacked; new mass kidnapping of students

Wednesday, 5 April 2023 kidnappings  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - In the early hours of April 2, Palm Sunday, the Pentecostal church in Akenawe, Tswarev, in the Benue State, in central northern Nigeria, was attacked. The assailants, suspected to be a band of Fulani shepherds, killed a faithful, injured several people including the community's traditional leader, and kidnapped the church's pastor and several faithful.
According to local press reports, the place of worship was attacked during a night vigil.
In Kaduna State, northern Nigeria, an armed group kidnapped eight secondary school students as they were returning home along with an unknown number of other people. This is the first kidnapping of students in the region after a period of calm, especially after the circulation of new banknotes to curb the ransom payments to kidnappers before the general elections held in late February.
The scourge of kidnappings for extortion is a well-known phenomenon in Nigeria that affects not only the North where jihadist groups are present but also other areas of the Federation (see Fides, 29/3/2023). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 5/4/2023)