The Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) has declared that it spent a whopping sum of N250 million to secure the release of its students who were kidnapped from Bethel Baptist College, Kaduna, last year.
It scored the fight against insecurity by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as below par, considering the number of innocent lives of Nigerians that have been lost through various acts of banditry and insurgency.
The president of the NBC, Reverend Israel Akanji, made the declarations on Friday during an exclusive interview with Saturday Tribune on the sideline of the 2022 International General Workers Conference for the NorthEast held at the First Baptist Church, Gombe.
Akanji said: “Initially, we didn’t want to spend money. We didn’t believe in spending any money. That was how we began. I even said openly that we would not spend money but I am also saying openly now that we have had to spend money. We were forced to spend money.
“When our children spent one month and did not come home and these bandits were telling us that they would start killing our children one by one, we had to weigh between our money being in our pockets and our children dying or our children being released to us. We preferred to lose the money. Since the government would not help us, we had to resort to self-help. That was what happened and we had to spend so much money.”
Speaking on insecurity in Nigeria, the NBC president said: “No one can convince many of us that this administration has done enough on security. We are not saying that they have not done nothing. They have been saying that they are doing their best but we are saying that their best is far below our expectation.
“Whoever is going to be the next president of Nigeria must be ready to confront the insecurity in our land. As long as some people are free to carry guns and kill people while others are arrested for carrying the same thing, there is a problem of injustice in the land.
“Arrest is discriminatory. You can see clearly in Nigeria, you don’t need to be told that someone like me will still be hiding and not telling the truth. It is a shame on the entire nation. At this level, we must say the truth to ourselves. The insecurity of this nation has been propelled by the high level of impunity.