We paid N250m for release of 121 Baptist students – CAN

By Samuel Ogunsona

A whooping N250m was paid to secure the release of some 120 students earlier kidnapped by terrorists.
The Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) said it was wrong to assume that the pupils opted to remain in custody for that long.

He spoke in the presence of the Kaduna State Governoe, Shehu Sani.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna chapter said it paid N250million ransom for the release of 121 kidnapped Baptist pupils.

One of the school boys, Treasure Ayuba had escaped from the bandits’ den after two years and some months.

The students were kidnapped two years ago in July 2021.

CAN disclosed that only 120 students were released to them, refusing to release Treasure Ayuba who later escaped from the kidnappers den after two years, four months in captivity.

Rev Joseph Hayab who led the parents and family of Treasure Ayuba, who during a courtesy visit to Governor Uba Sani , clears the air on erroneous information being circulated that it was the student that opted to remain with the bandits.

“There was nothing like that as the boy does not look like someone who would take such decision,” he said.

He said a sum of N250 million was paid as ransom to rescue the 121 students.

He said “Today, we gather here with a mixed feelings – relief, joy, and gratitude. We are here to welcome back Treasure Ayuba, the last of the kidnapped students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, matched out while in their sleep in the school hostel and kidnapped on the night of 5th July 2021 by bandits.

He said futher “To the knowledge of CAN, over Two Hundred and Fifty Million (N250,000, 000) was paid as ransom to get the 121 kidnapped children out from their captors, but for Treasure, his story became a heart-breaking one, further made worse by distorting the truth that the boy did not want to leave the den of the kidnappers.

“For the avoidance of doubts, CAN is aware of the firm efforts made by the boy’s family, relations, and well-wishers to get him back home. To add salt to injury, on more than one occasion, the kidnappers abducted the persons sent with the ransom to get Treasure out of their hands making his stay become an infinite time of agonising pain until God intervened.”

“Accordingly, on Thursday 2nd November 2023 I received a call from Treasure’s parents that the boy returned home safely after being in the hands of his captors for 28 months…. Treasure’s miraculous return is a moment of triumph, not just for Treasure and his family, Bethel Baptist High School Kaduna, the Baptist family, Kaduna state, and Nigeria, but for all humanity in general.”

“Treasure’s abduction, along with his fellow schoolchildren, remains a painful reminder of the challenges we face as a nation. The kidnapping of school children and students from a school facility is a stark harsh reality of the threats to our educational institutions and the safety of our young ones “

“The abduction shook us to our core, leaving us with a profound sense of urgency to bring an end to the atrocities perpetrated against the citizenry, the state, the nation at large and humanity in general. Today, as we stand here, welcoming Treasure back into the loving arms of his family, the church, people of goodwill and the government of Kaduna state, we are reminded of the resilience and determination that defines us as a people irrespective of religious affiliations or ethnic origin.”he added.

The Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani, who received the kidnapped school boy said his government had put necessary measures in place to ensure the safety of students across the state.

He also said his administration would support Treasure Ayuba by giving him psychological treatment to address the trauma he must have pass through over the last two years in captivity.

“We are going to support him in every way to ensure his reintegration into the society. I will speak with the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development to provide him with psychosocial treatment to try and erase the impact of the two years he spent with the bandits” He said.

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