Of the four students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, still with their kidnappers, one, the school’s Head Boy, who had refused to leave, has come home.
Recall that in the early hours of July 5, gunmen invaded Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi, in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Nigeria, and kidnapped 153 students.
Since, the kidnappers have been collecting ransoms and releasing the captives in batches.
However, the Head Boy had refused to join those coming home, stating that as long as a student was still in captivity, he won’t come home.
But he fell ill and the bandits ask for N5 million ransom. It was paid and the boy came home, now taking treatment.
The Bethel Head Boy’s predicament was revealed by the Vice chairman of CAN (North) and its Chairman in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph John Hayab.
He said it while narrating how some of the released students that had missed their O’level exams, while in the kidnappers’ den, were denied any consideration by the National Examination Council, NECO.
‘Head Boy is a hero’
Hayab said: “Two days ago, the bandits released one boy out of the four Bethel Baptist High School students that are with them.
“It was the Head Boy. He had refused to come back at all the times students were freed.
“But he fell terribly ill because of the long time they’ve been in the bush. So the bandits had to put pressure on us for more money.
“They insist that for the four people we must pay a fresh N5 million per person.
“But when we made efforts and almost that N5 million was given to them, they released only the Head Boy, who actually is weak and down.
“He has tried. He had refused to come home, saying until every student is back, he cannot leave.
“But because of ill health, he had to be released; but we had to pay money.
“That boy is worth celebrating. If at his age he can display that kind of leadership, we are so impressed.
“Nigerians need to know that our students are still with these bandits. All the Bethel Baptist High School students have not come back.
“Three are still with them now since they have released the Head boy.
“They are demanding from us N5 million per head for the remaining three. We have paid them a huge sum of money, but look at how they are treating us.
“This makes us ask questions. All this shutting down of network, what has happened to it
“Have we not used it to track criminals? Have we not used it that these bandits could still keep our children to be demanding money from us?
“Because our understanding is that the security agents would’ve been able to track them.”
Meanwhile ,For not allowing the abducted students of Bethel Baptist High School Kaduna, who regained their freedom from bandits, to write their final exams, the Christian Association of Nigeria has expressed dismay, saying what the National Examination Council, NECO, did as a national exam body, was shameful.
The Vice Chairman of CAN (North) and its Chairman in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph John Hayab, told Vanguard in an interview that the students had missed their WAEC and NECO final exams while in kidnappers den due to no fault of theirs.
According to him, “these children missed their WAEC. The Bethel Baptist High School students couldn’t write their internal WAEC and NECO.
“Sadly, one of the most painful things is that we reached out to NECO and WAEC and said our children didn’t commit any crime.
“They were only taken away by bandits. What can we do since a large number of these children have come back, to write November-December external GCE as external candidates, so that these children would have some sense that someone cares for them.”
“We must give credit to WAEC for graciously agreeing that we should bring these children, who paid for the internal exams.
“They now made them do a formal registration and capturing, and they are writing the November-December WAEC, as I speak now.
‘NECO, a national body, turned their back’
“But NECO, which is a national examination body, didn’t even care about all our pleadings. They know what we are going through
“How do you want these children to grow tomorrow and serve Nigeria if a national body that belongs to the Nigerian government will not treat them with love and care?
“So we felt shame on NECO for not showing concern to us.
“Because that shows that this whole thing we’ve complained about Nigeria will continue.
“At this time of our need, we are supposed to have the care of these examination bodies. But NECO never shows love.”
Also, Rev John Hayab spoke on the plight of Christians, particularly those who suffered due to acts of bandits in the state and accused the authorities of not doing much to free their abducted members.