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Insecurity: Forgotten victims of banditry – New Telegraph Newspaper

• Four students of Bethel Baptist College spend 138 days in captivity
• 30 abducted passengers in Niger still missing
• 45 students of FGC Birnin Yauri also
• Niger bans sale of motorcycles
 
Since Friday October 8, when abductors of the 121 students of the Bethel Baptist High College, Kaduna released five more of their victims whom they abducted in July, nothing has been heard about the remaining four victims.
 
Before then, the students had spent 95 days in captivity. This is giving a lot of worry to the parents, relatives as well as the President, Nigeria Baptist Convention, Rev (Dr.) Israel Akanji.
 
Akanji’s worry stems from the fact that the abductors no longer demand for ransom but want a dialogue with the state government, which had remained adamant that it would neither go into dialogue nor pay ransom to the group it has described as terrorists.
 
The bandits brought this home recently when they stormed the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kakau Daji, abducted 66 worshippers and one week after, shot five of them. Two of them died instantly while three were in a critical condition and rushed to a hospital where they were on life support.
 
Before then, Rev Akanji said the bandits had earlier threatened to begin to kill the worshippers if the government did not call them (bandits) for a roundtable discussion.
 
According to him, the shooting of the five was an attestation to the fact that the bandits were carrying out their threats, urging the government to do the needful.
 
Furthermore, Akanji said the bandits had made their intentions known that they were no longer after money but a roundtable discussion which the Nigerian Baptist Convention cannot grant since it is not the government.
Thus, fear for the lives of the remaining four students and the victims of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, who were abducted on Sunday, October 31.
 
Fate of 30 abducted passengers in Niger unknown
 
In Niger State, the over 30 passengers, who were kidnapped in three different vehicles since October 20 around 2pm on a Wednesday in Gari Gabas village, 11 kilometers to the ancient town of Zungeru in Wushishi Local government Area of the state are still in the hands of their abductors.
 
A source told our Correspondent that since the incident occurred, nothing has been heard of the victims as most of their relatives are in Kebbi State. The source said: “We just hope they are still alive because we have not heard from their abductors whether there is a ransom to be paid or not.
 
We are in contact with some of their relatives in Minna too to know if they have initiated contacts but they said no for now.” Secretary to State Government (SSG), Ibrahim Matane, said the government was not relenting in its efforts to get abductees released.
 
He added that, “the security agencies are on top of the issue and we hope they will be rescued alive”. It would be recalled that those abducted were in Kebbi Transport Mass Transit Authority’s 18 seater bus while two others were Sharon Commercial Space buses.
 
The Commissioner of Police, Monday Kuryas, assured that armed security personnel had since been deployed to the area to ensure the arrest of miscreants undermining the peaceful coexistence among residents.
 
The Kebbi bus was said to be coming from Kebbi State with a full load of 18 passengers while the two Sharon Space buses with full load of passengers were also said to be heading for Minna, the state capital from the Kontagora area.
 
45 students of FGC Birnin Yauri still under captivity
 
Almost five months after 105 students of Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State, were kidnapped and 60 of them released, 45 of them are still with their abductors. It would be recalled that bandits attacked the school on 17 June, 2021, with students, teachers and non academic staff.
Thirty of them were released last month. Before then, 20 regained their freedom not long after the ugly incident four months ago.
 
The parents, communities, security agents and government made spirited efforts to ensure the release of the students in good health. Governor Atiku Bagudu, said efforts were still ongoing to secure the release of the remaining abductees.
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