Obasanjo, Gumi secured release of 27 Kaduna students without ransom – Yusuf

FORMER Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Usman Yusuf, on Tuesday, revealed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Islamic cleric Abubakar Gumi ensured the release of 27 abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna State without paying ransom. 

He said this during a breakfast television programme, The Morning Show, when he featured on the Arise News programme in Abuja.

“I am nobody’s spokesperson, I speak for myself and I have never been shy of saying it as it is. The negotiations we got involved in to release the 27 students, no money exchanged hands.

“Let me be clear, no money changed hands, no shot was fired, no life was lost. This was the first negotiation that Sheik Gumi and Chief Obasanjo got involved in,” he said.

He said the kidnapping of the 27 students was the tip of the iceberg because rural folks in the North had been victims of these bandits for a long time, but the trend was now coming to the cities.

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“And what we are seeing now in those universities —Afaka and Greenfield – with the bandits requesting for ransom is not new. Guess what, this is what our rural folks have been going through for years, negotiating to get their loved ones out and selling whatever they have, thanks to the inefficiency of our government.



    “Everyone, if their loved one is taken, they will do whatever it takes to get their loved ones out. I have said it here severally on this table that this is what our people have been going through. Now it is on the news because it is coming closer to the cities,” he said.

    The 27 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, spent seven weeks with their captors before they were released.

    Kaduna State has been a den of kidnappers in recent times. Sixteen Greenfield University students are still in kidnappers’ den with their captors threatening to snuff lives out of them.

    Parents of the students have paid N55  million, but the bandits said the money was used for feeding the abductees. Some parents have also been reported to be negotiating privately with the bandits.  


    Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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