Kaduna: Outrage as bandits collect N50m ransom, hold back 87 Bethel Baptist students

Kaduna: Outrage as bandits collect N50m ransom, hold back 87 Bethel Baptist students
Some of the released abducted Kaduna students reunite with parents

When news filtered in that the abducted Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna were released on Sunday, there was wild jubilation in the town, especially among grieving parents.

Their freedom comes after the hapless students had spent 20 days in the bandits' den.

However, their joy and premature jubilation were truncated when they discovered that only 28 of the students were allowed to breathe the air of freedom.

Those who regained their freedom were among the 121 students who were abducted when bandits invaded the school on July 5.

The PUNCH reported that the bandits released the students after collecting N50m as ransom.

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 that 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 about 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."

The bandits had contacted the management of the school on Friday and demanded more food items.

Also on Friday, the NBC hawas said to have 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 11:21 am on Sunday, the students arrived at the school premises amidst songs.

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