Bleary, barefoot, apparently numbed by a week of captivity, more than 300 Nigerian schoolboys, freed after being kidnapped in an attack on their school, were welcomed by the governor of Katsina state and Nigeria’s president on Friday.
Reunions with their parents began late in the day.
“Since this incident happened I have not been able to sleep, but now I can sleep,” said Salisu Kankara, a parent of one of the schoolboys who was released.
The relatively quick release of the more than 330 boys took place after a prompt response by the government, which appears to have learned from earlier mass school abductions, especially of the Chibok schoolgirls, that did not have such a happy result.
“There is still the moral burden on the government to get Leah Sharibu and the rest Chibok girls released from captivity,” Supo Ayokunle, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told CT. “We are praying for [our] president for a better future and a more secure nation.”
The students’ nightmare began on the night of Dec. 11 when they were seized by men armed with AK-47 rifles from the all-boys Government Science Secondary School in Kankara village in Katsina state in northwestern Nigeria. They were marched through a forest and forced to lie in the dirt amid gun battles between their captors and the troops pursuing them.
The boys described walking through the bush and different forests, stopping during the days and walking at night without shoes, stepping over thorns and stones.
Read more at Christianity Today