There were mixed reactions in Kaduna on Sunday when bandits released 28 students of Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that the bandits demanded an N60m ransom, but N50m was raised by the school and some parents who contributed what they could afford.
Some parents, whose children were not released, were anxious about their safety.
A parent, whose daughter, was not released, said they were surprised that the bandits were still keeping 87 students.
He said, “The school and some parents raised N50m. Some parents contributed the amount they could afford. The bandits told the school to bring the money to a designated place. The money was taken to them. We thought they would release all the students, but we were surprised when only 28 were released. My daughter is among those still in captivity. I am praying for her safety.”
On Friday it was reported that the bandits contacted the management of the school and demanded more food items.
Also, NBC had contacted some of its chapters to raise the ransom demanded by the bandits.
“We have been boxed in; we have been given no option but to look for ways to rescue the children,” the President of the NBC, Rev Israel Akanji, told Punch interview.
But contrary to the claim of those who said the bandits were given N50m, Akanji said no ransom was paid by the church.
Most of the 28 students, who regained their freedom after spending 20 agonising days in their captors’ den, looked pale, while others had rashes all over their bodies on Sunday.
At exactly 11:21 am on Sunday, the students arrived at the school premises amidst songs.
While addressing the parents, some of whom arrived at the school as early as 7 am, the Proprietor of the school, who is also the President of the Kaduna Baptist Conference, Rev. Ishaya Jangado, said the bandits stated that they would release the abducted students in batches.
Jangado, therefore, appealed to the parents to bear with the management of the school and remain calm, noting that the “good Lord who started the work, will complete it.
“God has answered our prayers. By the grace of God, I have been talking to these people (bandits) and they told me they would be releasing the children in batches. Are you getting me? They are in batches and they have released the first batch. I am trusting God that very soon again, others will come.
“So, please, I am begging you, calm down. This good work that the Lord has started, He will complete it. We never knew we would be here today but God has proved Himself to be faithful.”