My daughter still in shock, her speech distorted, says mother of rescued pupil
The mother of one of the rescued pupils of Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna State, Mrs Esther Joseph, has cried out over the health of her 14-year-old daughter.
Joseph, who described herself as a widow, said her child had yet to recover from their traumatic experience in the kidnappers’ den.
She explained that her daughter had nightmares and spoke inaudibly since she regained freedom from her captors.
Gunmen had on July 5 abducted 121 pupils during an attack on the school along the Kaduna-Kachia highway, Damishi, in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
The abductors were reported to have demanded N60m as ransom.
Twenty-eight of the children were, however, released on July 25, after spending days with their abductors.
The Proprietor of the school, Rev Ishaya Jangado, had said the bandits agreed to release the remaining pupils in batches.
Four other pupils were later reported to have been released.
Similarly, the Christian Association of Nigeria on Wednesday said it had intensified discussions with bandits to free the 83 remaining students.
However, Joseph, who said that she paid N500,000 as ransom to secure the release of her 14-year-old daughter, said, “She (daughter) does not speak well. I paid N500,000 as ransom. I am a widow and she is my only daughter.
“She does not eat well. At night, she stays awake and holds me tightly; she is still afraid. She told me the kidnappers forced them to stand in the rain and sleep in the mud. She said the pupils were not allowed to interact.”
The widow, however, appealed to the government to support other parents to rescue the children still in captivity.
“We pray every day. I have not heard anything from the Kaduna State Government. We have been praying for three weeks. I pray for the government to rise and help us. When it rained, my daughter cried because she remembered her colleagues still in the bush.
“The government and other Nigerians should help to rescue the remaining pupils. They are human beings and no one knows tomorrow.”
It was, however, learnt that many of the families of the pupils still in captivity had resorted to daily prayers as part of efforts to secure the release of their children unhurt.
One of the parents, Mr Marcus Angwa, wondered why the state government discouraged the payment of ransom to the abductor when “no measures were taken” to rescue the pupils.
Angwa added, “We are tired of talking about the government. Parents are making their own efforts and then leaving the rest to God. This situation is alarming; we have not seen this type of country where citizens cannot move freely.
“Our children left their houses to acquire education. At the end of the day, they (kidnappers) took them into the bush and the government could not render any help. They tell the parents not to pay any ransom and at the same time, no measures were taken to rescue the children.
“Truly, we don’t understand what this country is turning into. The role of the parents is to pray and leave the rest to God. Prayers are said every day because only God can handle it (the situation). As it is, I don’t think they (parents) believe in anybody except God.”