Baptist Convention: We Will Not Pay Ransom to Bandits

- John Shiklamin Kaduna

The President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Israel Akanji, has declared that no ransom would be paid for the release of the 121 students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi, Kaduna.

The students were abducted on Monday at about 11p.m. when bandits invaded the school.

Speaking in an interview with journalist­s yesterday shortly after a special prayer session for the abducted students at the school premises, Akanji said the church did not believe in paying ransom to bandits.

He also said the Kaduna State

Governor, Mallam Nasir El- Rufai had assured him that everything would be done to ensure the return of the students.

Akanji said, “As a church we do not believe that people who are free should be taken and then we should go and pay for them.

“That is the position, we do not believe in that, we do not practice it, we have not been doing that.”

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

The clergyman said, “now that they have been taken away, we have called upon God for interventi­on and we believe our God is su΀cient.” Akanji also called on those in authority to do something about the security situation.

“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.

“We are not looking at paying ransom as the way for the release of the children,” Akanji said.

Speaking further, he said the federal and the Kaduna State government­s may think they are doing their best to tackle the security challenges, stressing however that their best is not enough.

“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. “Whatever their best is, it could be their best but their best is not enough,” he said.

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