The Chairman, Kaduna State of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Reverend John Joseph Hayab, has said that the bandits that abducted about 121 students of Bethel High School in Kaduna are calling the shots, which the school and parents are obeying.
Hayab, a Baptist senior pastor, disclosed this in an interview during a television programme, yesterday.
According to him, the armed bandits requested and collected various food items from their religious association twice before releasing 28 students a few days back, adding that more students are still in the bandits’ captivity, but negotiation is still on for their safe release.
He said: “The children’s parents and school authority might have every reason to cooperate with the bandits. We would have behaved or sound very tough with the bandits if we have a government that is up, putting them on the run.
“The bandits are the ones calling the shots and we have to obey. We can only resist them if we have a government that will put them on the run and makes things difficult for them. Our governments do say, no, we don’t need to negotiate with bandits, but sadly you cannot keep quiet. The truth is that many people don’t understand these things until you are a victim.
For the bandits to have asked us to give them food, simply shows that they are in comfort where they can cook. The fact is that Nigerians should know we gave them food twice. The first food they requested for, we gave them before we started the negotiation.
“Two days before they released the first batch, they asked us for more food and we had to give because we have no other option. The bandits have caused us sorrow, they treated our children in a very bad traumatic situation that I don’t even understand how these children will grow up to be patriotic to the country, a country that is supposed to protect them.
The CAN chairman further said, “There is no way we can ask our governor to negotiate with bandits, if they stop the bandits from kidnapping us, you won’t talk about negotiation; but you did not stop the bandits from kidnapping us because they did not kidnap your son, that is why you are thinking that about negotiation”.
“We thank many Nigerians who are standing by us and we appealed that government should act and act responsibly because these things must stop or else it will be too much for us to carry in future and once it reaches that stage, then even the govt. will not be there to protect and stop the people again”, he stated.