By Ayo Kehinde
The remaining 27 students abducted by bandits from Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, in the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State have regained freedom.
The students were among the 37 abducted almost two months ago. 10 had been release in tow batches, the first nine a week ago after their parents paid some ransom and one, only yesterday after her paid an undisclosed sum to secure his release.
The victims’ release was reportedly facilitated by the Sheikh Abubakar Gumi dialogue committee with support from former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Their kidnappers had initially demanded a N500 million ransom from the Kaduna State Government but Governor Nasir El-Rufai ruled out the option of negotiation, saying bandits deserve to be killed.
Parents of the kidnapped students had besieged the National Assembly in protest against the inability of the either the state or federal government to secure the release of their children by their abductors. One of the parent, a widow had disclosed that Sheikh Gumi had directed one Ahmed to collect ransom money from them in order to go to the kidnapers for further negotiation. She said they could only gather N800,000 which the intermediary said was for his transport.
Meanwhile, troops of the Nigerian Army have rescued 13 persons abducted by bandits in Gwagwada, Chikun local government area of Kaduna state.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the 13 persons originally from Dutse, went to work at Tanadi Farm, located around Bakin Kasuwa in Gwagwada general area of Chikun LGA.
“They were attacked by the armed bandits in the process. Troops on receiving credible intelligence of the abduction trailed the bandits to a forest near Bana village and there engaged them in a gun duel”, he said.
The 13 persons rescued, the Commissioner said, are: Kenth Yusuf, Izra Ali, Josiah Luka, Istifanus Suman, Helen Ibrahim, Justina Gofwen, Ibrahim Madaki, Biyaya Yusuf, Sani Bello, Lucy Dada, Anayi Ezekiel, Benjiman Daniel and Musa Usman
Aruwan further explained that after the operations, “the troops discovered that the bandits had shot two volunteers before their arrival. The two deceased were identified as: Ezekiel Iliya and Nasara Yohanna.
The bandits also burnt a church and looted some houses in the area.
“Receiving the report, Governor Nasir El-Rufai thanked the troops and commended them warmly for the successful rescue operation. He also commiserated with the families of the deceased volunteers, and prayed for the repose of their souls.”
“The Governor also extended his sympathy to the leadership and members of the razed church over the unfortunate attack, and directed the State Emergency Management Agency to conduct an immediate assessment of the damage”, Aruwan added.