After enduring 800 days in captivity, Treasure Ayuba, a student at Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna, has finally been set free by his captors.
He was among the 121 pupils kidnapped during a tragic attack by local bandits on July 5, 2021. Over time, these outlaws have been gradually releasing the kidnapped pupils, and Treasure is the last among them to regain his freedom.
Governor Uba Sani’s spokesperson, Mohammed Shehu, in a statement issued on Saturday, said the government was excited at the release of the last kidnapped pupil.
He expressed gratitude to all those who were involved in securing the pupil’s release and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to enhancing security in the state. He added that his focus will be to ensure the safety of all educational institutions, as reported by Premium Times.
“The released pupil was among the 121 children who were kidnapped by bandits in July 2021 from their school premises in Maraban Damishi, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Treasure Ayuba has since been reunited with his loved ones,” according to the statement.
Israel Akanji, the President of the Nigeria Baptist Convention, expressed deep gratitude to God for the release of Treasure. His safe return home on November 2, 2023, was met with joyful praise and thanks to God.
Following the initial abduction, about a month later, the criminals released 100 out of the 121 abducted students, reportedly after their parents paid an undisclosed ransom. The remaining students were released in multiple groups over time.
On September 23, the Nigerian Police announced the arrest of three individuals from a gang involved in the kidnapping of the pupils. The police spokesperson, Frank Mba, identified the suspects as Ishaku Lawal, Muazu Abubakar, and Adam Bello.
Kaduna, along with much of Nigeria’s North-west region, has been plagued by a ten-year-long insecurity crisis due to terrorist groups targeting rural communities, travelers, and schools. This ongoing conflict has resulted in millions of casualties, including fatalities, kidnappings, and displacements.
The Chikun Local Government area in Kaduna State is notably one of the areas severely affected by this insecurity.