Bandits have issued a death ultimatum to the remaining 29 abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna. This is due to the unwillingness of the Kaduna State government to meet their demand of #300 million naira ransom.
39 students were abducted by the bandits but 10 students were freed in the first week of April. Reports says the release of those 10 students was due to the payment of ransom by some parents.
Governor El-Rufai has said he would not negotiate with the bandits despite pleas from parents that the Kaduna state government should negotiate with the bandits.
At a press conference in Kaduna, the spokesman of the parents, Friday Sanni confirmed receiving threats via telephone from the bandits to kill the remaining 29 abductees who have now spent 37 days in the dungeon of the criminals.
“We are calling on Nigerians, non-governmental organisations, charity organisations and donors to come to our aid in donating to rescue our children. We don’t know what is happening to them”.
“The bandits have threatened to kill our children if we play with them. The other time, they said they will marry the female and kill the men and that a time will come when even if we bring the money, the money will not be useful.”
He pleased that if the government said security agents rescued the two batches of 10 released students. They should also try to rescue the remaining 29 abducted students.
“The government has said any parent who negotiates with the bandits will be prosecuted but most of the parents are already arrested emotionally, our children today are faced with AK 47 guns on them. The faith of our children is what we don’t know; they have spent 36 days without clothing, food, clean drinking water or bathing.”
He then noted that the parents of the students will find ways of reaching out to the bandits.
“We will continue to protest, no matter the number of security forces. The highest is death and we are ready to sacrifice that for our children who have promising futures.”
Sources among the parents said the bandits were earlier given N17 million for the release of all the 39 students following negotiations, “but after they collected the money, they changed their mind, saying it was too small and decided to release only 10 of the students.”
The source said negotiations with the bandits by parents were still going on.
In a statement after the briefing by the parents, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said government would not succumb to “emotional blackmail” regarding the fate of the abducted students.
Aruwan said, “The Governor will continue to work hard until banditry is contained, without succumbing to emotional blackmail and gradual politicisation of the unfortunate situation,”
The Commissioner said it is false that Governor El-Rufai has said he will punish the parents of abducted students found negotiating with the bandits
He however noted that the state government has promised not to negotiate with the bandits nor pay any ransom to them. He said anyone found doing any of the two on behalf of the government would be arrested and prosecuted.
According to Aruwan, “Contrary to the mischief in some sections of the media, the bond between the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and the parents of the abducted students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, and other citizens in captivity, is deep empathy amidst spirited efforts to secure them”.
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