Suspected an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria members abducted young people from the Mafa village about 30 miles east of Maiduguri. The village chief, Alhaji Shettima Maina, told media, “[The insurgents] took all boys 13 and older… and all girls 11 and older. According to our information, 30 young people were abducted in the last two days.” The abductions occurred during the weekend of October 25th-26th . Maina said that at least 17 people were killed in the attacks on several towns that started Thursday evening and went through Saturday evening. As of October 27th, suspected an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria members had abducted an estimated 90 people since October 19th. Suspected insurgents attacked Wagga and Gwarta villages, and abducted as many as 60 over the October 25th weekend. It remains unclear how many of those taken were Christians.
The attacks and accompanying abductions have cast great doubt over the effectiveness of the peace deal the government said it had reached with an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria. Presidential Advisor Doyin Okupe told Al Jazeera: “[There are] people who are not really very happy with the peace deal and bring up vigilantes in the regions, and some of them do cause problems… The main thing is that the Federal Government is committed to this ceasefire.”
God’s people in northeastern Nigeria have suffered greatly at the hands of an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria and are struggling to deal with the continuing violence. Pray that the Lord would grant His children the grace to keep their eyes on Him. Pray that those who do not know Him will be drawn to Him through these hardships. Pray for the young men and women taken over the weekend, who now face very dangerous circumstances. Our prayer is that the Lord will be at work through those circumstances and that He will enable His children to persevere and remain grounded in Christ.
Father, the Christians of northeastern Nigeria have suffered so deeply and for so long that sometimes we do not know how to pray and can only call on the Holy Spirit to take what is on our grieving hearts and bring it before You with words we don’t know how to speak. We lift before You today the children who were abducted; that You would keep them in Your tender care in the midst of the terror. We pray that You would grant peace to the families who remain behind. We lift before You the government; that it might find an effective way to bring an end to the violence. We pray for the church leaders as they must surely struggle even with what it means to respond to the unrelenting violence in God-honoring ways. Help them to look beyond the violence to see Your face and the glory set before them as Christians. And as they do that, we pray that You would help them to look back down at their earthly task through the lens of Your glory and presence. May the name of Christ be lifted high as Your Church continues to meet together for worship in the face of unthinkable threats. In the name of Jesus, the sure anchor of our hope, Amen.