Bandits operating in Nigeria’s North have released an additional 28 of the more than 120 students abducted at the beginning of July.
1st News reports that the bandits abducted the students from the Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi, Kaduna on Monday, July 5, 2021.
The released students were handed over to their parents by church officials today, Sunday, July 25, 2021. However, Rev. Israel Akanji, president of the Baptist Convention, said more than 80 other children are still being held by the bandits.
In all, a total of 34 children kidnapped from the Baptist High School have either been released; or have escaped from the custody of their abductors. Recently, two of the students escaped after they were tasked to go and fetch firewood.
There is no clarity as to when the other children in custody will be released; with reports revealing that the bandits have demanded the sum of $1,200 for each student.
Meanwhile, it is yet unclear if any ransom was paid for the release of the 28 students released today. Feelers gathered by 1st News indicate that the bandits released the students after some negotiation which may have involved parting with a ransom.
However, Rev. Akanji, in a chat with the media, insisted that the school did not pay any ransom; adding that the church is opposed to paying criminals. However, he noted that there was a possibility that the parents of the students may have parted with some money; even as he declared that the church was powerless to stop them from taking any actions they deem fit to secure their children’s release.
The release of the 28 students was yet to be confirmed by the Kaduna State Police Command as at press time.