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How Baptist church paid bandits N250m to release kidnapped Bethel school students

The Nigeria Baptist Convention has revealed it spent the sum of N250million to secure the release of students kidnapped from Bethel Baptist College, Kaduna, by terrorists in 2021.

According to Tribune, President of Nigeria Baptist Convention, Rev Dr Israel Akanji, disclosed this in Gombe on Friday during the 2022 International General Workers Conference for the North-East held at the First Baptist Church, Gombe.

Gunmen had in the early hours of Monday, 5th July, 2021, stormed the school owned by the church in Damishi, Kaduna and abducted 121 students of the school.

Akanji also scored the fight against insecurity by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration as below par considering the number of innocent lives of Nigerians that have been lost through various acts of banditry and insurgency.

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He said, “Initially we didn’t want to spend money, we didn’t believe in spending any money, that was how we began. I even said this openly that we will not spend money but I am also saying it openly now that we have had to spend money, we were forced to spend money.

“When our children spent one month and did not come and these bandits were telling us that they will start killing our children one by one, then we had to weigh between our money being in our pockets and our children dying or our children been released to us and we losing our money so, preferred to lose the money since the government will not help us we had to resort to self-help, that was what happened and we had to spend so much money.

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“There is no doubt in our minds, there is no one that convinces many of us that this administration has done enough on security. We are not saying that they have done nothing, they have been saying that they are doing their best but we are saying that their best is below the belt, far below our expectations.

“Whoever is going to be the next president of Nigeria must be ready to confront the insecurity in our land. For as long as some people are free to be carrying guns and be killing people while others are arrested for carrying the same thing, then there is a problem of injustice in the land.

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“Arrest is discriminatory, you can see clearly in Nigeria, you don’t need to be told that someone like me will still be hiding and not saying the truth, it is a shame on the entire nation. At this level, we must say the truth to ourselves, the insecurity of this nation has been propelled by the high level of impunity.”

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