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Baptist Convention: We won’t pay ransom for abducted students

Baptist Convention: We won’t pay ransom for abducted students
July 09
20:41 2021

Israel Akanji, president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), says no ransom will be paid for the release of the abducted students of Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi, Chikun LGA of Kaduna.

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A total of 121 students were abducted on Monday when bandits invaded the school.

Speaking with journalists on Friday after a special prayer session for the abducted students at the school premises, Akanji said the church does not believe in paying ransom to bandits.

He said for the past 166 years, the Baptist Church has operated secondary schools in Nigeria, and “it has never happened that our children would be taken away.”

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“As a church, we do not believe that people who are free should be taken and then we should go and pay for them,” Akanji said.

“We are not looking at paying ransom as the way for the release of the children.

“That is the position. We do not believe in that; we do not practise it. We have not been doing that.”

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He said Nasir el-Rufai, governor of the state, has assured the church that “everything” would be done to ensure the return of the students.

“Now that they have been taken away, we have called upon God for intervention and we believe our God is sufficient,” he said.

“We do not have security in our hands and, therefore, we have called on the governor of Kaduna state to ensure that these children are released, and when I spoke with him, he made a promise that he will do his best.

“I am trusting that he will make good his words as a governor and as one who is in charge of the security of the state.

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“That is what we are trusting God to do for us. We are looking up to God to touch the governor and use the security agencies to bring our children back.”

Speaking further, Akanji said the federal and state governments may think they are doing their best to tackle security challenges in the country, but “their best is not enough”.

He noted that sometimes, bandits overpower security personnel during such incidents.

“I tell you the truth, the federal government and the Kaduna state may be saying that they are doing their best, but my assessment is that their best is not enough,” he said.

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“Whatever their best is, it could be their best but their best is not enough.

“Whether it is because we have inadequate weapons or that the adequate weapons are not in the hands of our security personnel at the right time, I believe that something is wrong somewhere.

“But I believe that the Nigerian Army is a strong army. The Nigerian Army has gone to other parts of Africa and has ensured that there was peace there. So, if they are not doing the right thing in the country, then something is going wrong and something must be done.”

El-Rufai had also maintained that his government will not pay ransom to bandits, as such actions encourage more criminal activities.

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