Five of the 39 abducted students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Afaka, Kaduna State, have regained freedom after 25 days in captivity.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the development in a statement yesterday.
The commissioner said the five students were rescued by troops of the Nigerian Army.
Even though the identity of the five students could not be confirmed last night, Aruwan said they were undergoing a medical checkup at a military facility.
He said: “The Nigerian military has informed the Kaduna State government that five of the many kidnapped students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna, were recovered this afternoon (yesterday) and are currently in a military facility where they are undergoing a thorough medical checkup.
“The Kaduna State government will provide updates on further operational feedback to be received on this case.”
This is cheery news, at least for parents of the students who had expressed sadness over the state government’s insistence that it would not negotiate with bandits for the release of the abductees.
The government also threatened to prosecute anyone who negotiated with the hoodlums to release the students.
This drew the ire of the parents, who described Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s administration as callous and insensitive.
The parents condemned the statement by the government on Sunday, saying it did not hire any person to negotiate with the abductors on its behalf and that it would prosecute anyone engaged in such negotiation.
Addressing reporters yesterday, Chairman and Secretary of the Kidnapped Students’ Parents, Sam Kambai and Sanni Friday, said the parents would collectively negotiate with the bandits to release their children.
They said: “Today makes it 25 dreary and excruciatingly difficult days since our children have been in captivity. We have neither received any word of empathy or assurance from the government nor have we seen any action to inspire confidence that something is being done to secure the safe release of our children.”
“We are not intimidated by the threat of prosecution. We call on all Nigerians and the international community to support us in our efforts to ensure the safe return of our children soonest.”