…Says, abductors now demand N500m from them.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The parents of adducted students of College of Forestry and Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna, have voiced out that, they have lost hope in government’s intervention in securing the release of their children.
The 39 students of the college were kidnapped on March 11, but only10 have so far been released.
Addressing pressmen on Friday in Kaduna, the spokesperson of the parents, Mr Friday Sani, said the abductors had resolved in calling them personally, requesting ransom amounting to N500 million for the release of their children.
“The condition we are in today is very pathetic, and we are calling on the entire world to come to our aid,” he said.
“We held a protest and the Kaduna State Government called us, thinking they were going to give us hope that they will rescue our children, but they told us that anybody caught negotiating with bandits will be prosecuted.
“That also led to our second coming out to address the world through the media that, it will be better for us to be arrested, even though, we have already been ‘arrested’ emotionally since our children’s abduction.
“We are already under the arrest of government. Some of us could not eat and sleep, while some of us have developed sickness; so, there is no arrest higher than this,” he said.
“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,” Sani said.
He noted that they were, however, not afraid of arrest of any kind from the government, saying, “If we can negotiate for the release of our children and succeeded and then being arrested afterwards, we will be the most happiest people. It is better for us to be in government’s detention rather than allow our children to die.
“The fate of our children is what we don’t know, and that is the problem we have. The government has kept silent since the release of ten of the children.
“May be, it is because we are no longer talking and pleaded not to address the media and protest on the streets that the government has remained quiet about our abducted children.
“We wouldn’t mind, if the government takes credit for the release of the ten students; be it as it may be, we want them to enable the release of others so that we can applaud them the more.
“The government may turn Kaduna into Dubai but, if there are no people to benefit from it, then it is a waste of resources. People are not secured; the stories of daily incidents of killings, kidnappings and other forms of crime are disheartening.
“We are pleading with the government to ensure our children do not lost their lives during the course of any action they want to use in securing the release of our children, however their silence,” Sani said.
Sani called on the minister of environment, Director-General of Forestry, United Nations and other Humanitarian Agencies to come to their aid and ensure safe return of their children.