CAIRO – As anger escalates over Boko Haram claims that they have abducted more than 200 schoolgirls, a group representing Nigeria’s young Muslim students has urged Nigerians to fast and pray for the return of the missing girls.
"The million of Muslim students in Nigeria and the Diaspora reject this terrorist act that is aimed at increasing and complicating the suffering of the already traumatized Nigerians,” Malam Abdulazeez Folayemi, President of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSS), was quoted by Vanguard.
"We call on everyone to embark on fasting and prayer in order to seek Allah's intervention in this precarious time.”
Nearly 234 schoolgirls were kidnapped by the extremist militants while being at school in the Chibok area of Borno State on Monday, April 14.
The kidnapping occurred the same day as a bomb blast, also blamed on Boko Haram, that killed 75 people on the edge of Abuja and marked the first attack on the capital in two years.
On Monday, May 5, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau admitted kidnapping the girls in a video obtained by the Agence France Presse (AFP), threatening to sell them in the market.
Folayemi’s calls were made during a lecture in Minna to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the body.
He urged the Federal Government to deploy "all necessary machinery to ensure the safe return of the girls".
"Our view is that the nation is undergoing a trying period, the nation should wear a mourning look and all flags should be flown at half-mast until our sisters are rescued," he added.
Nigeria, one of the world's most religiously committed nations, is divided between a Muslim north and a Christian south.
Muslims and Christians, who constitute 55 and 40 percent of Nigeria's 140 million population respectively, have lived in peace for the most part.
Boko Haram, a Hausa term meaning “Western education is sinful”, is loosely modeled on Afghanistan's Taliban.
The militant group says it is fighting enemies who have wronged its members through violence, arrests or economic neglect and corruption.
It has been blamed for a campaign of shootings and bombings against security forces and authorities in the north since 2009.
But recently, the sect has carried out attacks against Christians and Muslims alike.
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