By Uche Amunike
The Federal government has decried the manner in which abductors of over 200 Baptist students are still holding them in captivity months after they were abducted.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who described it as an issue that gave the government serious concern, has also said that the government was being careful in its moves to rescue them.
He described it as a security issue that needed to be carefully handled.
Recall that parents of 80 students of Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna state have paid N300,000 each on Friday and even though the abductors did promise that the students will be released after the payments, they still failed to live up to their words. As at July 25th, only 28 of them were set free and the President, Nigerian Baptist Convention, Reverend Israel Akanji confirmed that 87 of them were still held by the abductors.
They made the exchange through a link person who has assured the parents that the children were safe but because their abductors have broken their promise to release these children twice, the parents are worried about the truth in the assurance given them by the link person.
According to Nwajiuba, because of the sensitive and serious nature of kidnapping it will be unwise for the government to apply force.
He cited the case of the Chibok girls who have been held captive for over seven years, saying that it would not be proper for the government to go there and start bombing everyone as it would result in the death of those children.
He stressed that if the government had gone to Chibok to bomb the kidnappers den, some of them would not have returned when they did, maintaining that the government is majorly responsible to all its citizens.
The Vice President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev John Joseph Hayab, on his part, has pleaded with Nigerians to pray for the release of those children.
When students were abducted in Kebbi state, hunters aided in the search for them by combing the forests, but they eventually stopped because of the failure of the government to equip them with logistics to aid them with equipment like guns, motorbikes and weapons to make their job easier.
They maintained that even though the government gave their families N30,000 each to take care of their needs while they were combing the forests and N5000 to each of them, it was not enough to aid their search.
One of the parents of the abducted students lamented that the government had failed them, saying that all they got from the government was endless hope.
She decried that there was a meeting between the PTA and the government officials in Birnin Kebbi, but nothing good came out of it.
Recall also that apart from the Bethel Baptist students and the 83 students kidnapped from the Federal Government College in Birnin Kebbi, 136 pupils were also abducted from an Islamic school at Tegina in Niger state.