Kaduna: 28 Bethel schoolchildren regain freedom from bandits’ captivity

Kaduna: 28 Bethel schoolchildren regain freedom from bandits’ captivity

On Sunday, July 25, 28 more abducted students of the Bethel Baptist Secondary School in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State have regained their freedom.

1st News learned that the students were found inside the Tsoho Gaya Forest; in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State in the early hours of Sunday.

However, it is still unclear how they regained their freedom; whether by payment of ransom or rescue operation by security operatives.

Three of the students were rescued by police operatives some days ago; at a location also in Chikun Local Government Area; and were later taken to a police medical facility for medical checks.

121 students of Bethel Baptist secondary school in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state; were abducted from their hotels by bandits on July 8.

The bandits later demanded a ransom of ₦60 ransom for the release of the students.

But mass school abductions have soared this year, with almost 1,000 students kidnapped, according to UNICEF. Most are released after negotiations but many are still being held in forest hideouts like the Bethel pupils.

The list of missing from Bethel makes heartbreaking reading: 121 names, the oldest 19, the youngest just 10. Most are under 15.

“I am a mother and I would not like anybody to take my child away from me for one day. Imagine the trauma,” Hassana Ayuba, whose daughter Judith was taken, told AFP.

“The children are harmless, the children did not offend anybody.”

Meanwhile, for the umpteenth time, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has stressed that the challenges facing the country are neither ethnicity nor religion.

The minister said some elements in the country were exacerbating ethnic and religious differences to tear the country apart for their selfish reasons.

Lai Mohammed spoke in Abuja on Saturday, July 24, at the Book presentation and 75th birthday celebration of Dr Bamigboye Ogunbiyi, a re-known obstetrician and Gynaecologist.

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Unveiling the autobiography titled, “Ripples of Grace’’, the minister said the things that unite the country was more and significant; than those things that the divisive elements were escalating for disunity.

He said the foundation for national unity had been built a long time ago by the nation’s forefathers; and what the people needed to do was to sustain it.

Lai Mohammed gave three personal experiences to buttress his position including his days; and that of the celebrant at the Government College, Keffi which he described as “a great model for the unity of Nigeria’’.

“From the book, we learned that the celebrant attended Federal Government College (FGC), Keffi; and that is why I am not surprised he ended up marrying Justice Clara from Borno.

“In Keffi, we were taught at a very young age that this country is one and the same and that religion, ethnicity, and social status do not matter; but rather one’s academic prowess,’’ he said.

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