Nigerian parents living through student abduction nightmare

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Gunmen have kidnapped around 150 schoolchildren from a boarding school in north-west Nigeria.

By Rédaction Africanews with AFP

The families of more than 100 Nigerian children snatched from a school nearly two weeks ago pray for their safe return.

Judith is one of the more than 100 Nigerian children snatched from Bethel Baptist High School , herded by gunmen into the forest after a kidnapping raid on their dormitories.

"Last night I couldn’t even sleep when it was raining. I was imagining whether the rain is falling on their head. She is allergic to cold, I was imagining how she is feeling right now. I even have to tell myself that see me, I'm cold, I have to use blanket to cover my body. What happened to my daughter now? What is she using to cover her body?" said Hassana Ayuba, Mother of an abducted child.

The July 5 raid in Nigeria's northwest Kaduna state was just the latest mass abduction at a school as kidnap gangs seeking quick ransoms zero in on soft targets.

"Let a law be passed that will stop the abduction of children in Nigeria entirely. I am a mother... I would not like anybody to take my child away from me for one day. Imagine the trauma, since last week Monday, that parents are passing through" further expressed Hassana.

Armed kidnappings for ransom along highways, and from homes and businesses now make almost daily newspaper headlines in Africa's most populous country.

"I am very worried, to the extent that sometimes I lack word to express myself. But I want to say that the government in Nigeria promised to protect lives and properties. Maybe we say that they have failed us." said Wobia Jibrailu Ibrahim, Father of an abducted child.

Outside, in the school yard, parents have collected a pile of shoes and flipflops their kidnapped children left behind.

The list of missing from Bethel makes heartbreaking reading: 121 names, the oldest 19, the youngest just 10. Most are under 15.

The following people are listed as missing from Bethel: There are 121 names in all, with the oldest being 19 and the youngest being only 10. The vast majority are under the age of fifteen.

At Bethel, police said security guards were overpowered by the gunmen, who as usual, arrived in large numbers and heavily armed