Parents of the students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, FCFM, Mando in Igabi Local Government Area, LGA, of Kaduna State, abducted by bandits have issued 48 hours ultimatum to the Federal Government and Kaduna state government to rescue their children.
Speaking yesterday at a briefing, the grieving parents also appealed to the United Nations, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), well meaning Nigerians and world leaders to prevail on the state and federal governments to speedily rescue their children from the bandits.
Recall, BuwaNews reported that on March 11, 2020, large number of bandits invaded the FCFM, Mando in Igabi LGA, and kidnapped the students.
It further reported that on Saturday, March 13, a viral video where the students were seen crying and appealing to the government to pay the N500 million demanded by the bandits as ransom for their release.
At statement by Chairman and Secretary of the aggrieved Parents, Kambai Sam and Friday Sanni, respectively, which was read by the Chairman at the briefing, among others, said “You would recall that on the night of 11th March, 2021, gunmen invaded the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, and forcefully abducted 39 students of the Institution at gun point – 23 of them are female students while 16 are male. Several others sustained varying degrees of injuries while running for their dear lives.”
“The bandits had a field day on the night of capture and for over an hour carried out their nefarious activity largely unchallenged until the military came after 3 batches of students had been taken out of the college through the perimeter fence. Not a single one of the 39 abducted students has been rescued. We have put our trust in the government and school authority to rescue the students in good time and safely, but that has not happened. It is now 12 dark dreary days since the unfortunate incident happened and we as parents have not received any positive message from either the school management, the Minister of Environment under whose ministry the school is or the Kaduna State Government under whose territorial jurisdiction the school is located. This silence is unacceptable as it only feeds our hopelessness with each passing day.
“We are using this press conference to call the attention of government at state and federal levels and all stakeholders involved, and indeed the world, to act with dispatch to ensure the immediate and safe release of our children. We have seen this kind of ugly event happen in Katsina, Zamfara and Niger states and swiftly the governments acted and ensured the safe and timely rescue of the victims, so why is the case of the Afaka 39 different? Why should our innocent children pay for the failure of government to provide security of life and property? Or is it now a crime to seek education in schools? Let us not forget that the students were taken in bad shape – some were barely covering themselves, especially the ladies. This is a dangerous thing and should have made the government to act faster.
“We do not think enough is being done. Indeed, the failure, negligence or refusal of the government to keep us in the loop as regards the measures they are taking as well as subsequent kidnap of students in Kaduna state has heightened our anxiety on the safety of our children.”