Another 32 students out of the 63 remaining kidnapped students of the Bethel Baptist School in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria have regained their freedom.
The students were released by their abductors on Friday evening after spending 52 days in captivity, with 31 others still held hostage. This recent release brings the number of students who have regained their freedom to 90.
A total of 121 students were abducted from their hostels by terrorists on July 5, 2021, but some of them were able to escape.
According to a report by The Punch, Joseph Hayab, the Vice President, Christian Association of Nigeria and chairman of CAN in Kaduna State, confirmed the development adding that the students were being reunited with their parents.
The Kaduna State government and police authorities are yet to confirm the development.
“This (Friday) evening, 32 of the students were released. We expected more of that figure. We had been on it since yesterday (Thursday). They have been reunited with their parents and they are taking them straight to the hospital for treatment. No time to waste,” Hayab was quoted by The Punch as saying.
“The challenge is that the bandits do not release the children because their parents paid any amount. After all, we have one negotiator and when any amount is given to bandits, they release the number of children they deem fit.”
“All the students released so far are junior students who are weak and vulnerable. None of the senior school students kidnapped has been released.”
Hayab also said that the negotiator was working hard to ensure that the abductors released more students than they did the previous week, while he also called for help from members of the public.
“CAN Kaduna State is simply crying out to spirited Nigerians to come to our rescue in whatever way to help get our children back home. The trauma parents of these children are going through is not good for their physical and mental health.
“The worst is how the children are faring in this rainy season. Those who were released came back home very sick and weak, suggesting that those not back may be in a more severe situation.”
Sources however disclosed that the parents had paid an additional N24 million ransom after the initial N50 million collected by the terror group. It was learnt that parents of each student were asked to contribute an additional N300,000 to raise the fresh fund for ransom after the initial N500,000 paid by each for the first ransom.
The abductors had first demanded a N100m ransom but was later reduced to N60m after a series of negotiations.
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