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Nigerian diocese suspends activities at high school after terrorist attack

The Diocese of Makurdi in north central Nigeria has suspended activities in one of its high schools after a recent attack left one civil defense officer injured and many students traumatized.

Students at Fr. Angus Frazer Memorial High School.


Fr. Angus Frazer Memorial High School is both a boarding and day school in the Benue state capital.

Gunmen entered the school on the night of May 7, shooting indiscriminately while students slept, said a statement from diocesan communications director Fr. Moses Iorapuu.

A team of civil defense officers responded to the attack. One officer was shot and is receiving treatment.

Iorapuu praised the officers for their courage, saying that if not for their response, “the situation would have been catastrophic.”

Following the attack, the Diocese of Makurdi immediately suspended activities at the high school until stronger security measures can be established.

“The decision to suspend activities was a pre-emptive measure to ensure the safety of our children and to avoid what could have been an unimaginable disaster,” Iorapuu said.

The priest told The Pillar that diocesan officials “have written to the governor and the national commandant to deploy armed security officers in our schools.”

However, they have not yet received a response from government officials, he said, stressing that “the provision of security of life and property is the responsibility of the government.”

Kidnapping and other acts of violence against Christians have become particularly common in the northern part of Nigeria, where both Boko Haram militants and Fulani herdsmen have carried out attacks, often with impunity. 

The ongoing violence has several causes, according to experts.

Fulani herdsmen have attempted to expand their grazing territory amid desertification in parts of the country, razing villages and farms which stand in their way as they go.

Additionally, Islamist terror cells, which are believed to intimidate local governments in northern Nigeria, recruit from among the Islamic herding communities.

Iorapuu said that while all of Nigeria has seen violence and instability, “Benue State has been the epicenter of attacks by armed herdsmen for two decades.”

“This part of the town has become notorious for killings and kidnappings by suspected herdsmen” Iorapuu said.

“We attribute this to our being Christians,” he continued. “Priests and the faithful have been killed at Mass, our churches destroyed, and farmlands vandalized.”

Fr. Angus Frazer Memorial High School was founded in 2022 as both a boarding and day high school that educates both boys and girls. It is named after the late Fr. Angus Fraser, CSSp, MFR, an educator and founder of the Via Christi Society, who was known for his efforts to educate and mentor youth in Nigeria.

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