Kaduna Bandits Release 28 Bethel Baptist Students


*Allegedly Collected N50m Ransom


*Still Hold Back 87 More


By Our Correspondent


Another batch of students abducted from the Bethel Baptist High School were on Sunday released by their abductors after a grueling 20 days in captivity. The students, 28 in all, are some of the 121 total taken away by the bandits who invaded the school’s boarding house facilities on July 5.
Eighty seven more are still in the bandits’ den with indication that they will be released in batches. The released looked pale and malnourished with rashes all over their body, some were unable to walk unaided.
Though it could not be independently verified, there are claims that they were released by the bandits after a N50m ransom, put together by both the school management and parents, exchanged hands.
“The school and some parents raised N50m. Some parents contributed the amount they could afford. The bandits told the school to bring the money to a designated place. The money was taken to them. We thought they would release all the students, but we were surprised when only 28 were released. My daughter is among those still in captivity. I am praying for her safety,” a parent volunteered.
The said payment claim is a far cry from the position of the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev Israel Akanji who claimed the school did not pay any ransom to bandits. However, it is on note that the same Rev Akanji told newsmen in an earlier interview that “We have been boxed in. We have been given no option but to look for ways to rescue the children.”
Meanwhile, mixed reaction greeted the release of the 28 students in Kaduna state as parents and guardians of students still in captivity were obviously anxious and disillusioned. However, while receiving the students, President of the Kaduna Baptist Conference, Rev Ishaya Jangado, told the parents that the bandits promised to release the abducted students in batches. Rev Jangado, who appealed for calm prayed that as promised, God will ensure that they are indeed released.
“God has answered our prayers. By the grace of God, I have been talking to these people, bandits, and they told me they would be releasing the children in batches. Are you getting me? They are in batches and they have released the first batch. I am trusting God that very soon again, others will come.
So, please, I am begging you, calm down. This good work that the Lord has started, He will complete it. We never knew we would be here today but God has proved Himself to be faithful.”
Whereas the release of the Kaduna students appears to bring a measure of succor to their traumatized parents and other family members, the case with the 83 abducted students of the Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi state, is still causing nightmare. According to sources, the abductors are holding unto the students, insisting that they must be traded with bandits in government custody
The Yauri students are not the only set still with bandits. As at Sunday, pupils of the Tegina Islamic school, numbering about 136, have spent 54 days in captivity.

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