How a Fulani herder helped us to escape – Kidnapped Bethel School student

Bethel Baptist High School, Maraban Damishi, in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State: Four more students regain freedom

Richard Elesho

Contrary to popular opinion that Fulani Herdsmen are dangerous, an unnamed Fulani herder provided a silver lining in the very dark cloud of overwhelming insecurity in the northwest.

The herder in a typical Good Samaritan style, provided invaluable cover and support that aided the escape of three out of the abducted students of Bethel High School, Kaduna.

It would be recalled that gunmen invaded the school on Tuesday 6th July and abducted 121 students. After about ten days with their abductors, security operatives eventually rescued 28 of the students.

The euphoria over freedom of the fortunate students was still high when news broke that another three had escaped and reunited with their families.

One of the three which escaped who preferred anonymity, in a heart rending interaction with People’s Daily narrated how they escaped and got stranded in the forest. He recalled that a herdsman harboured them for three days and meticulously showed them the road to safety.

“On Monday, July 19, at about 6 pm, we were tasked by our captors to go and fetch firewood. With this chance, we decided to use the opportunity of not being monitored and escaped to an unknown forest. They ran after us but through God’s Mercy, they didn’t get to us”.

The student said after days of navigating aimlessly, they met a Fulani man who was rearing his cow in the forest and narrated to him that they escaped from their abductors and wanted direction to go home.

He said, “the herder helped us. But he warned us against disclosing that he assisted us.

“We were roaming around the forest since on Monday 19th July, 2021, without food, but God saved and delivered us and we were united with our parents on Sunday 25th evening.”

According to him, the herder took them in and fed them until Sunday morning, before telling them the path to follow to Kasuwan Magani, located in Kajuru Local Government Area.

“When we got to Kajuru, one of us who remembered his father’s phone number  begged someone who assisted with his phone and the father came and picked us from there,” the student said.

The three students are at different hospitals at the time of filing this report.

When the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Muhammed Jalige of Kaduna State Command was contacted on phone, he said they were yet to get the details of the three escaped students.