The Nigerian Baptist Convention has appealed to Federal and Kaduna State Government to intensify their efforts to end the spate of kidnapping and banditry in Nigeria.
Its President, Rev. (Dr) Israel A kanji, made the appeal on Tuesday in a statement in Ibadan, Oyo State, on the kidnapped of students of Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi, Kaduna.
Akanji called on members of the Baptist family, both within and outside the country; and well- meaning Nigerians to unite in their prayers for the rescue of those children and other people in similar situations.
He also urged parents to remain calm and keep faith in God “for there is nothing He cannot do”.
According to him, we received a distress call in the early hours of Monday, July 5, 2021 that bandits had attacked Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi, Kaduna.
“We immediately contacted security operatives and mobilised other stakeholders for rescue mission.
“To the glory of God, 28 students have been reunited with their families, while 125 students are yet to be accounted for.
“We have been reliably informed that search and rescue operations are ongoing, involving the Nigeria Army, the Nigeria Air force and other security agencies.
“We strongly believe that, by the grace of God, these students will safely return to their parents soon.
“The situation in which we found ourselves is indeed pathetic, particularly for the parents of the kidnapped students and the school community.
“We feel their pains and our prayer is that God Almighty will arise and intervene in this unfortunate incident,” Akanji said.
The convention president commended the efforts of the Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, his commissioners and security operatives in the state, “for acting swiftly upon receiving our report and who are working closely together”.
“We urge them not to leave any stone unturned to rescue all the students still in the hands of the bandits.
“We also commiserate with the families of the two gallant soldiers of the Nigerian Army, who lost their lives, while trying to protect the school.
“We appreciate the Vigilance Group who, put in much efforts to defend the school, although, they were overpowered,” Akanji said.