We Won’t Pay Ransom To Bandits To Secure The Release Of Abducted Students, We Do Not Believe In That — Baptist Convention

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

One hundred and twenty one (121) students were kidnapped on Monday when bandits stormed the school.

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

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

“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.”

The NBC president said that the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has assured the church that “everything” would be done to secure 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.

“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.”

Akanji also said the federal and state governments may think they are doing their best to combat security challenges in the country, unfortunately “their best is not enough”.

He said that sometimes, bandits overpower security personnel in such situations.

“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.

“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.”

Governor el-Rufai had also insisted that his government will not pay ransom to bandits, as such actions promotes more criminal activities.