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Kaduna Police hand over Afaka students to parents amidst jubilation

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FREE AT LAST! Students of Federal College of Forestry Mechinsation, Afaka, Kaduna State, shortly after they were re-united with their relatives at the state Police Command headquarters… yesterday

• ‘We Have Forgiven Our Captors, May God Forgive Them’
The Kaduna Police Command has released the 27 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, who regained their freedom from armed bandits, to the parents, amidst jubilation.

However, some of the students, who recounted their experiences in the bandits’ captivity, said they were only fed once in a day throughout their 56 days in the den of kidnappers, saying: “We did not take our bath when we were there; we only go to the stream to fetch the water that we drink, with some armed bandits escorting us.”

Addressing a press conference to herald the handover of the students to their parents, the state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Umar Muri, said: “Since the kidnap of the students, the federal and state governments, acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Alkali Baba Usman, as well as the Kaduna State Police Command became greatly concerned and deeply engaged every means deemed necessary within the ambit of the law for the rescue of the students.

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“In the process of this strategy, many security meetings were held at the Government House, presided over by Governor Nasir Ahmad EL-Rufai, where more proactive measures were thoroughly discussed and carefully analysed with a view to ensuring that all the students are rescued unhurt.

“As a result of these measures, the federal and state governments, as well as the acting IGP, state Police Command, the military and other sister security agencies, adopting the best modus operandi at our disposal, 10 of the students were first released on April 5 and 8 in two batches, leaving behind 27 students in captivity.”

He added: “With this sustained effort, the remaining 27 kidnapped students were subsequently released to the Command on May 5, about 1615hrs (4.15pm) without any casualty.

“Upon arrival at the Police headquarters, all the victims were admitted immediately at the Police Clinic for evaluation and resuscitation, giving their bad looks and poor health conditions. Basic routine laboratory investigations were carried out and all medical concerns have been sorted out.

“As we speak, the victims are all clinically stable and ready to be reunited with their respective families.”

Umar said effort was also being made to rescue the Greenfield University students still in the hands of bandits, following their abduction on April 20, this year.

Meanwhile, one of the students who spoke with journalists, said: “We have forgiven the kidnappers, our captors and may God forgive them.”

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