Six Christian Schoolgirls and Two Staff Members Kidnapped by Fulani Militants Are Released After Torture and Ransom Payment

Protesters gather during a demonstration against Fulani herdsmen killings, in Abuja, Nigeria March 16, 2017. | (Photo: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

Muslim Fulani herdsmen have released six girls and two staff members kidnapped from a Christian-run high school in north-central Nigeria after torture and payment of a ransom.

Nearly a month after abducting the girls and staff members at gunpoint from Engravers’ College in Kakau Daji village, Chikun County near Kaduna city, their Muslim captors released them late last month, one of the girls’ parents told Morning Star News, a nonprofit persecution watchdog outlet.

“Several people prayed in churches and mosques,” Ohemu Fredrick said. “Through their prayers, God brought us help. God used a former governor of Kaduna state to assist us.”

Fredrick did not disclose the former governor’s name or the ransom amount but revealed the former official offered the children and staff members free medical treatment. According to another parent whose identity was withheld, the hostages were reportedly tortured each time the kidnappers called the parents so they could hear their screams.

“They were torturing them each time they called us (parents) so that we could hear them,” the parent told The Punch Newspaper. “They said they were being fed rice mixed with palm oil while in captivity.”

The parent said after the kidnappers set them free, police picked them up and dropped them off near a toll gate near the city center.

The State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the news in a statement: “We are relieved that this criminal violation of the right to liberty is over and that they are all back safely. The victims, most of whom are minors, and their families will now be focusing on recovering from this undeserved trauma. We appeal for considerate reporting of their ordeal and respect for their privacy,” Aruwan said, according to The Punch. 

“As we continue to combat banditry, kidnapping and other crimes, the Kaduna State Government urges all our communities not to give comfort to criminals. The state government calls for vigilance in all our communities and continued cooperation with the security agencies in this battle to secure our state and all who live in it.”

Shunom Giwa, vice principal of Engravers’ College, previously revealed that the eight individuals were kidnapped early October when armed herdsmen appeared at the door of his house and spoke with each other in the Fulani language. Others with the school’s vice principal arrived shortly after they told him to lie down, and Giwa escaped, he said.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett