Baptist School Students: Bandits Hold Back 87 Students After Collecting N50m Ransom

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 Baptist School Students: Bandits Hold Back 87 Students After Collecting N50m Ransom
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

Twenty-eight students out of the 121 students who were abducted from Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, were freed on Sunday after being held captive for 20 days.

The students were abducted when their school was invaded on July 5, 2021, by bandits.

The bandits released the students after collecting N50m as ransom, according to Punch.

On Sunday, there was panic among the parents of the remaining students as the Nigerian Baptist Convention said 87 schoolchildren were still with the bandits.

In Kebbi State, parents of the 83 students of the Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, who were still in captivity since their abduction 40 days ago, said their abductors were insisting on the release of their colleagues arrested by security agents.

About 136 pupils, who were abducted from an Islamic school at Tegina, Niger State in May, spent 54 days in bandits’ den on Sunday.

In Kaduna State, there were mixed reactions as bandits released 28 students of Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

It was gathered that the bandits demanded a N60m ransom, but N50m was raised by the school and some parents who contributed what they could afford.

Some parents, whose children were not released, were anxious over their safety.

A parent whose daughter was not released said that they were surprised that the bandits were still keeping 87 students.

He said, “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.”

On Friday, the bandits contacted the management of the school and demanded more food items.

Reports on Sunday said the NBC had contacted some of its chapters to raise the ransom demanded by the bandits.

The President of the NBC, Rev Israel Akanji, had, in an interview said, “We have been boxed in; we have been given no option but to look for ways to rescue the children.”

But contrary to the claim of those who said the bandits were given N50m, Akanji in an interview with journalists on Sunday said no ransom was paid by the church.

Most of the 28 students, who regained their freedom after spending 20 agonising days in their captors’ den, looked pale, while others had rashes all over their bodies on Sunday.

At exactly 11:21am on Sunday, the students arrived in the school premises amidst songs.

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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