The chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. John Joseph Hayab, has disclosed that a ransom of N250 million was paid to secure the release of 121 students of Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna who were kidnapped by bandits in July 2021.
Rev. Hayab made this revelation during a courtesy visit to Governor Uba Sani in Kaduna. He also clarified that Treasure Ayuba, the last Bethel student who escaped from captivity about a week ago, did not willingly choose to remain with the kidnappers, as claimed in some quarters.
The CAN chairman stated that efforts were made to secure Treasure’s release, including sending ransom money to the kidnappers on two occasions, adding that the total sum paid to finally secure their release amounted to N250 million.
“Today, we gather here with mixed feelings—relief, joy, and gratitude. We are here to welcome back Treasure Ayuba, the last of the students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, who [were] marched out while in their sleep in the school hostel and kidnapped on the night of July 5, 2021, by bandits,” Rev. Hayab stated.
He explained the challenges faced by Treasure’s family, relatives, and well-wishers in securing his release and the subsequent abductions that occurred when ransom money was delivered.
Reacting, Governor Uba Sani assured Treasure Ayuba of the state government’s support and revealed that measures are being taken to enhance the safety of students in schools across the state.
Uba Sani said the establishment of security committees in schools, the deployment of the Kaduna Vigilance Service (KADVIS), and the securing of school premises by building fences are some of the steps to ensure the safety of students and improve the learning environment.
“We have taken steps to safeguard our schools and ensure that our schoolchildren have their education in a conducive atmosphere. We will set up security committees in all schools, ensure the deployment of KADVIS (Kaduna Vigilance Service) to all our schools, and secure our schools by building fences around the school, among other measures,” he said.