Abuja (Agenzia Fides) – "It is an unprecedented event. We are facing a terrible situation," Fides has been told by Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, where 15 children were abducted while they were on a school bus.
The seizure took place yesterday morning, September 28, when a group of armed men stopped a school bus carrying children on their way to the Abayi International School, in the State of Abia, one of the states of the Niger Delta region, site of concentrated oil reserves in Nigeria. According to a government spokesman, the bandits have demanded a ransom of about 100,000 Euros to free the children.
"In that area, everyone is a victim of these bandits," said Archbishop Onaiyekan to Fides. "Even the Church has suffered abductions of her members. For six days, we have had heard no news of the accountant of Catholic University. However, there is no specific intention to attack the Church, as the bandits kidnap anyone, even local tribal leaders."
"It is the government's responsibility to stop the kidnappers," says the Archbishop of Abuja. "The area where this act took place is relatively limited, so I do not think it would be impossible to hunt them down. "We are celebrating 50 years of national independence. I think we should take this opportunity to reflect on how Nigeria has been administered all these years," concludes Archbishop Onaiyekan. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 29/09/2010)