Nigeria: Bandits release kidnapped students as parents raise ransom

According to officials on Sunday, bandits had released 15 additional pupils kidnapped last month from a Baptist school in northwest Nigeria. 

Reverend John Hayab, the school’s administrator, stated that parents had raised and paid a secret ransom to liberate the kids, who were among more than 100 seized from Bethel Baptist High School on July 5.

“The students are already being released and would be handed over to their parents any moment from now,” Hayab said.

According to Hayab, the kidnappers are wanting 1 million naira ($2,430) each pupil. 

Samuel Aruwan, the Kaduna state commissioner for internal security, acknowledged the release but declined to comment on the ransom payment. 

Following the release of a first batch of 28 children two days after the raid, kidnappers freed another group of 28 youngsters from the school in July. Before Sunday’s release, some 80 people had remained in custody.

Since December, armed bandits have kidnapped over 1,000 pupils from schools in northwest Nigeria, and Kaduna state schools have remained shuttered due to the threat. 

President Muhammadu Buhari urged on state governments to cease paying bandits in February, and Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai has made it clear that he will not pay. Desperate parents and communities, on the other hand, frequently raise and pay ransoms themselves.


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