Rev. Dr Samson Supo Ayokunle, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria and a member of World Council of Churches executive committee, reflected that, sadly, innocent children being kidnapped is becoming the norm in Nigeria.
“These are children of innocent Nigerians who left the confines of their parents in pursuit of education and a better tomorrow,” said Ayokunle, who is also immediate past president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention. “It is a sin and a crime against humanity to have zero regard for the lives of others or be unable to provide security for citizens.”
Rev. Ishaya Jangado, conference president of Kaduna Baptist Conference, the proprietor of the school, reported that 28 students have been reunited with their families, while about 125 students are yet to be accounted for.
“Search and rescue operations are ongoing and we strongly believe that these students will safely return to their parents soon,” said Jangado. “We feel their pain and our prayer is that God Almighty will arise and intervene in this unfortunate incident.”
He commended the efforts of the security operatives in the state. “Our trust is in God and I urge all parents to remain calm and keep faith with God,” he said. “I call on all members of the Baptist family to unite in prayer for the rescue of our children.”
Kidnapping and abduction are now a thriving business in Nigeria, Ayokunle said. “Nigeria is no longer a safe haven.”
Instead, he said, Nigeria has gradually become a den of kidnappers and other criminals who are operating almost unchecked. “It is obvious that the security operatives are overwhelmed,” he said. “We hereby call on international communities to come to the aid of Nigeria… because it appears that our leaders are incapacitated and are not humble enough to admit failure.”
He urged the criminals to repent of this evil. “What evil did these students they kidnapped do against them?” he said. “We enjoin all Christians nationwide to lift up their voices to God to get the students of Bethel Baptist College and all those in captivity released as soon as possible.”