Forestry students’ abduction: Bandits demand N5 million per child, says parent

A PARENT of two of the kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Friday Sani, has said that bandits have demanded the sum of N5 million each as ransom for the abducted students.

Speaking in an interview with Channels TV on Tuesday, he expressed anxiety over the situation, stating that the government has remained unsupportive since the event occurred.

According to Sani, parents of the victims have continued to communicate and negotiate with the bandits despite threats of arrest from the government, as they seemed to have been left to their own devices.

“They have refused to change their position that they will arrest anybody that negotiates with the bandits. We should be arrested when our children are under the comfort of their father’s home,” he said.

When asked if payments were made to effect the release of 10 of the students who were freed weeks ago, he replied in the negative, stating that the circumstance surrounding their release remains a mystery to him.






     

     

    Sani described an allegation that he had paid some money to the bandits for the release of the 10 students as ridiculous, stating that it was impossible to pay for the release of other kidnapped students. At the same time, two of his daughters remained in captivity.

    Suggesting a way forward, the Head of Public Affairs of the National Conscience Party Yunusa Tanko, who also featured on the program, advised the Nigerian government to reach out to both local and international communities for support.

    He pointed out the dangers of this approach, however,  saying that mercenaries may have negative effects on the country, adding that vital information would be given out, which may eventually be used against the country.

    Recall that gunmen kidnapped 39 students from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna over a month ago. Ten of the victims were released in two batches three weeks ago, while twenty-nine remain in captivity.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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