Two months after armed bandits storm Bethel Baptist High School and kidnapped 120 students, only 57 have been released so far.
It could be recalled that the gunmen on 5 July stormed the school, and whisked away many students. After 28 pupils could return to the educational center on 27 July, local media now report that another 57 students have been freed between 22 and 28 August.
This new move has been confirmConfirming the development, the spokesman of the Police of Kaduna, Muhammad Jalige said no official explanation has been given about the cause of the freeing. However, the local press speaks of possible ransom payments by some families.
The dilemma had also led to a debate inside the Nigerian Baptist Convention. After refusing to consider an economic solution in July, the Christian denomination later admitted that “no other option” was on the table.
when the released ones reunited with their parents, Israel Akanji, President of the Baptist Convention, thanked God and the many organisations inside and outside Nigeria who have supported them in the last week, and praised the patience of families.
“Our prayer is that our joy will be full and that the other children will also be released very soon”.
Speaking, the regional chair of the Christian Association in Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna, Joseph Hayab, the students have been able to return to their families 52 days after they were kidnapped, and were later checked by the medical services.
“The parents were advised to immediately take their wards to the hospital for medical check-up, as they were very sick and exhausted. The children looked so weak, sick and tired”, said Hayab.
The young people had symptoms of illness and fatigue. After being returned to their families, they were checked by medical doctors.
The owner of the Bethel High School, Ishaya Jangado, on his part said that both the staff and the families of the educational community continue to trust God. He added that no one should question how the young people are being freed.
“As Christians, we are people of faith and the simple definition of faith is that you receive what you have not even seen. So our heart desire is that we want to receive all our students in the forest”, said Jangado.
“But we are receiving them in batches, and the Bible says all things work for good for those who believe in him. If it pleases God that our students should come in batches we cannot question God. We are happy that God loves us all”, he added.
So far, over 90 of the kidnapped students have now been freed. The number of youth still in captivity is between 30 and 33, according to Nigerian media.