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Five of 39 Kaduna (Afaka) students regain freedom

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Kaduna State governor Nasir-El-Rufai


CAN, parents blame El-Rufai for wards’ travails

Kaduna State Government has been informed that five of the 39 kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, have regained freedom, and are undergoing medical check-up in a military facility.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, stated this yesterday. It was however not clear whether ransom was paid or not.

Aruwan added: “The Kaduna State Government will provide updates on further operational feedback to be received on this case.”

MEANWHILE, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter, has blamed the travails of the kidnapped students to the position of Governor Nasir el-Rufai, which it described as unhelpful.

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Also, parents of the students have lamented their wards’ ordeals, noting: “Today makes it 25 dreary and excruciatingly difficult days since our children have been in captivity.”

At a press conference yesterday, the parents accused the governor of showing no concern to their plight and that of their children.

The CAN Chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab, and hundreds of Christians held a prayer session for the release of all kidnap victims, seeking God’s intervention in ending terrorism in Nigeria.

Hayab told the Christians who gathered at Albarka Fellowship Baptist Church: “El-Rufai has continued to speak with both sides of his month about paying armed bandits or not at the risk of those victims who are still in the hands of the criminals. At one time, he said that he negotiated with them and paid ransom.”

But now, he has changed his tune. He is saying that he will not negotiate with the criminals. Which one should we believe?” Alleging that the government was propagating falsehood about the bandits, the cleric added: “When our children, brothers and sisters are still with bandits, instead of facing the reality on the ground, the governor is going about blackmailing us on television programme, saying that we were lying about the figures we gave on the number of victims in the hands of bandits.

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“Let him come out and tell the world where we lied. Let him come and also tell the world the number of victims in kidnappers’ hand.”

Also, the former President of HEAKAN Church, Dr. Emmanuel Zuga, who spent 99 days with kidnappers, lamented the handling of security challenges by President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor El-Rufai.

A statement from the parents’ group signed by the Chairman, Sam Kambai, and Secretary, Sanni Friday, pointed out: “For record, the governor of Kaduna has never addressed the parents of these students from the first day of the incident till now. They have shown no concern about the parents’ trauma.

“After we organised a peaceful protest during which we addressed a press conference on March 22, 2021, we got audience with a government official where they stated categorically that the Kaduna government would not negotiate with the bandits for the release of the students.

“We are not intimidated by the threat of prosecution. We call on all Nigerians and the international community to support us in our efforts for the safe return of our children soonest.”

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