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RCCG members kidnapped in Kaduna

  In the middle of the continued captivity of the 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State 17 days ...

 

In the middle of the continued captivity of the 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State 17 days after they were abducted by armed bandits, no fewer than eight members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Region 30, Trinity Sanctuary, Kaduna, were on Friday abducted by gunmen.


The victims were on the church bus travelling for a programme when they were attacked.


A Facebook user, Eje Faraday, around 7pm broke the news on his page with a picture of the white vehicle.


“All the passengers in this bus were just kidnapped along Kachia Road, 63 km from Kaduna,” he wrote.


A credible source and an official of the church, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the report.


He said, “They were eight in number on the bus. They were going to Kachia in preparation for the church’s Let’s Go a Fishing Easter programme. The gunmen took them out of the bus and put them in their own operational vehicle. They have yet to contact the church.


The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Jalige, said he was still making enquiries on the incident.

He said, “I have contacted our officers along that axis. Actually, we have three divisions in that area. I have got responses from two divisional police officers, who said they were not aware of the incident. I am just waiting for the response of the third DPO. When I get it, I will let you know.”

The RCCG Head of Media and Public Relations, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi, did not answer calls to his mobile, which rang out several times.


Meanwhile, medical experts have raised the alarm that the abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation may suffer panic disorder, nightmares and other manifestations of post-traumatic disorder.


The medical experts, comprising psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health advocate, in separate interviews with our correspondents, warned that when eventually released or rescued, the students could suffer depression, difficulty with attention in class, lack of trust and other mental issues.

Parents of the students had on Monday protested and given Kaduna State and the Federal Government 48 hours to rescue the students, lamenting that they were worried about the health of their children, some of whom they said sustained injuries during their abduction.


A parent who spoke on behalf of other parents during the protest, Mr Friday Sani, said, “We are by this press conference demanding that the government rescue our children by all means and within 48 hours so that the process of their rehabilitation can commence because the longer they stay in captivity the worse the situation will be.”


Bandits had on the night of March 11 abducted no fewer than 30 students from the school, located opposite the Nigerian Defence Academy on Airport Road. The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement that checks by the government revealed that 39 persons, comprising 23 females and 16 males, were missing.


He, however, gave an assurance that security agents were working hard to rescue the students, noting that troops of the Nigerian Army from 1 Division prevented the bandits from taking away more students and that they were able to rescue 180 persons.

The state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had insisted that his government would not negotiate with bandits, who demanded N500m ransom. The bandits also warned that the students would not go home alive should any attempt be made to rescue them.

He said, “We will not engage with bandits or kidnappers. Private citizens like clerics and clergymen can do so in their individual capacities, to preach to them and ask them to repent. We also want them to repent but it is not our job to ask them to do so.”