The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State announced on Wednesday that it had paid a ransom of N250 million for the safe release of 121 students abducted from Bethel Baptist High School. The harrowing incident occurred on July 2, 2021, when armed bandits raided the school owned by the Nigeria Baptist Convention in Damishi, Kaduna, kidnapping the students from their dormitories.
Despite extensive efforts to secure their release, the abductors continued to elude capture. The ordeal took an even more distressing turn with the case of Treasure Ayuba, the last student held captive. His captors, it was revealed, took extreme measures to prevent his release.
Despite the substantial ransom payment made by CAN, the kidnappers repeatedly thwarted attempts to retrieve Treasure. The situation escalated into a heart-wrenching saga, as those sent with the ransom were also abducted, prolonging Treasure’s agonizing captivity.
However, a ray of hope emerged on November 2, 2023, when Treasure Ayuba was finally reunited with his family after enduring 28 months in captivity. The CAN chairman in Kaduna State, Rev. John Hayab, expressed a mix of relief, joy, and gratitude on this occasion.
Treasure’s safe return was hailed as a triumph not only for him and his family but also for Bethel Baptist High School, the Baptist community, Kaduna State, and the entire nation. This incident, however, stands as a stark reminder of the formidable challenges faced by our educational institutions and the safety of our youth in the face of such threats.