Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has insisted that he will not negotiate with bandits who abducted the students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Mando, Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
KanyiDaily had reported how 39 students were abducted from their college dormitories on March 11, 2021, but 10 of the students – seven male and three females – were released last week.
The kidnappers had demanded a N500 million ransom from the Kaduna State government, but Governor El-Rufai vowed that his administration will not negotiate with bandits, warning that anyone who negotiate on behalf of the government would be prosecuted.
It was learnt that the bandits have began reaching out to parents of the remaining 29 students to demand ransom following El-Rufai’s refusal to negotiate with them.
The parents of the students have defied the directive of the state governmentnt and vowed to negotiate with bandits to secure the release of their children, alleging that Governor El-Rufai was yet to address them since the abduction.
According to the parents, the kidnappers are threatening to kill all the male students and marry off the females if the parents fail to pay a N500m ransom to secure their release.
The parents dared Governor El-Rufai to arrest them for negotiating with bandits if it means it will lead to the release of their children.
Reacting in a statement on Friday, Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna commissioner for internal security and home affairs, said the state government will not succumb to emotional blackmail regarding the fate of the abducted students.
He said the government shared the pains of the abducted students and that it would continue to work hard until banditry was contained in the state.
“Contrary to the mischief in some sections of the media, the bond between the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, and the parents of the abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, and other citizens in captivity is deep empathy amidst spirited efforts to secure them.
“The governor will continue to work hard until banditry is contained without succumbing to emotional blackmail and gradual politicisation of the unfortunate situation.
“For instance, some sections of the media have been reporting the parents’ responses to purported threats by the governor to prosecute them, which is simply false and deeply mischievous.
“The statement of the government warning impostors who have been presenting themselves as government-appointed emissaries to negotiate with bandits across the state has nothing to do with the parents or relatives of the abducted students or any other person in captivity. It was rather directed primarily at some identified individuals exploiting the security situation in the state and neighbouring states.
“Finally, the state government will not take issues with the parents, whose pain we understand and with whom we share the common goal of the return of all the abducted students,” Aruwan added.
KanyiDaily recalls that a father of one of the kidnapped Kaduna students, Ibrahim Shamaki, died of heart attack a few weeks ago.