Bandits release 10 Bethel Baptist School pupils, hold 21

September 19, 2021
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Ten students of Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna State were on Saturday released by their captors, 74 days after they were abducted by bandits, Sunday PUNCH has learnt.

The Vice President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (19 Northern States and Abuja) and Chairman of CAN in the state, Rev. John Hayab, who disclosed this in an interview, said 21 of the children were still with their captors.

Hayab said, “Ten students were released this (Saturday) evening and have reunited with their parents. We are now hoping for the remaining 21 who are still with the bandits.”

Our correspondent had reported that exactly 67 days after their abduction, CAN said the government had abandoned the remaining 31 pupils in the bush with bandits.

While describing the government’s action as bad and condemnable, the organisation said since the parents of the 31 children had not known sleep for these 67 days, any caring leader would not also sleep.

Hayab had in a statement sent to our correspondent titled, ‘Our government has abandoned the 31 Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi, Kaduna, children in the bush with bandits,’ said, “The silence about the 31 Baptist High School children still in the hands of their captors is bad and condemnable. These children were taken away from their school on July 5 2021.

“It is 67 days today and our leaders are silent as if all is well when truly all is not well. How can it be well when parents of these 31 children have not known sleep for these 67 days? Any caring leader will also not sleep. These children should be released or rescued without delay.

“We all know that the Kaduna State Government shut schools for over a month claiming that the military would go after bandits and have again asked all schools to reopen without bringing back our children.

What happens with the military exercise that leads to the closure of schools? Was it just another drama to divert the attention of parents and those sympathising with the parents from the real situation? The Church in Kaduna State will never keep quiet until all our children and everyone in captivity are released and return home.”

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