THE Nigerian Army have contradicted a claim by Kaduna State government that five of the 39 students kidnapped from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, were recovered.
Spokesperson for the Nigerian Army Muhammed Yerima disclosed this during a telephone interview with The ICIR on Tuesday.
The Kaduna State government had, in a statement signed by Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs Samuel Aruwan on Monday evening, claimed that five of the students had been recovered.
According to Aruwan, the Nigerian military had informed the Kaduna State government that the five persons recovered were undergoing a thorough medical check-up at a military facility.
“The Kaduna State Government will provide updates on further operational feedback to be received on this case,” the statement read in part.
However, there was no picture or video evidence provided by the Kaduna State government to show that the five students had been recovered.
Army spokesman Yerima said he was not aware of such development, adding that if such communication was made from the Nigerian military, it would be from his office and there was nothing of sort.
“I am not aware of such report, I did not send anything of such to anyone. If they quoted the Nigerian military, they should say who, but I did not send out such information,” Yerima told The ICIR.
On March 12, 39 students of the school were kidnapped by gunmen who have since demanded ransom to free them.
However, Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai has insisted that he would neither negotiate nor pay ransom to kidnappers.
El-Rufai said the only way to rescue the kidnapped students was through military action, adding that any other option was ‘emotional and irrational.’
The inability of the government to rescue the students so far has left grieving parents angry, saying that the government was insensitive towards their plight.
Chairman of the aggrieved parents Sam Kambai and Secretary Sanni Friday said on Monday that the situation had become dire for many families.
The parents insisted that they would do everything within their powers to ensure their children safely returned home.
“We wish to reiterate that we will do everything within our powers, everything humanly possible, with the help of God, to ensure our children do not perish.
“First and foremost, due to the failure of government to live up to its primary responsibility of securing lives and property that we have this ugly development in our hands,” Friday said.
El-Rufai had earlier threatened to prosecute anyone negotiating with bandits or kidnappers on behalf of the state government.