Another batch of 10 of the remaining 21 abducted students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi, Kaduna, has been released by bandits after 81 days in captivity.
Chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab, said the 10 students were released on Sunday afternoon and were reunited with their parents.
This is as a former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, at the weekend, condemned in strongest terms, the recent killing of some Nigerian soldiers by Boko Haram insurgents in Marte-Dikwa Local Council Area of Borno State.
However, while giving an update on the Bethel students kidnap debacle, Hayab expressed hope that the remaining 11 students would soon be released.
“Ten more students of Baptist High School were released this afternoon. We have 11 now with bandits. Thanking all Nigerians for their prayers and support. Trusting God that the rest will be released very soon,” Hayab said in a WhatsApp message to THISDAY.
On July 5, bandits invaded the school located about six kilometers away from Kaduna metropolis and abducted 121 students. The students have since been released in batches by the bandits.
So far, four batches of students, totaling 110 had been released, including those, who escaped from captivity.
Parents of the students were said to have paid a total of over N200 million as ransom to the bandits.
The bandits were said to have demanded and collected fresh ransom for each batch of students released.
Three suspects arrested in connection with the abduction of the students were recently paraded by the Force Headquarters of the Nigerian police in Abuja.
On the the recent killing of some soldiers by insurgents in Marte-Dikwa, Borno, Ndume implored the military not to be deterred by the incident, which reportedly claimed the lives of no fewer than 15 soldiers.
Ndume, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, in a release on Sunday, called on the troops in war theatre area of Borno State not to allow their morale to be dampened.
According to him, what happened is not enough to low the spirit of the soldiers but urged them to continue in the fight against insurgency and ending the menace in the country.
His words: “The killing of the soldiers between Marte and Dikwa in Borno State is highly condemnable, it is sad and unfortunate. This should not discourage the troops and the Army from taking the war to the Insurgents. We send our condolences to the family of those killed and pray that God grant them eternal rest especially, as they died in the course of serving their father land.”
Ndume added that as a nation, the people must continue to encourage and pray for the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Farouk Yahaya, along with the military hierarchy and officers and men for the good work they have been doing to end the Boko Haram insurgency attacks.
The ranking Senator also called on the federal government to adequately fund the military so that the officers and men could perform optimally.
Last Friday, dozens of military troops on pass and on their way to Maiduguri, Borno State capital, were ambushed by suspected members of Boko Haram linked to ISWAP, killing several of them.
The incident reportedly took place between Marte-Dikwa council areas, when the insurgents fired rocket launchers at military trucks, which culminated into sporadic shootings targeting troops being conveyed from Marte to Maiduguri, after spending some time at the theatre.
Marte, about 180km north of Maiduguri, remains one of the council areas of Borno not fully occupied by civilian population, as most of its people have been displaced and taking refuge in Monguno, and some parts of Maiduguri.