Gunmen who abducted 39 students from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Afaka, Igabi local government area of Kaduna state have demanded N500 million for the release of the students whom the Kaduna state government says comprise 23 females and 16 males.
Three parents of some of the abducted students have confirmed to our correspondents that the abductors have reached out and made a demand of N500 million for their release.
This is also as the kidnappers have released three videos showing the students in what appeared to be a forest area.
Kaduna State Government is yet to respond to the videos and ransom demand as the state Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan did not respond to calls and text messages sent to his phone.
However, Governor Nasir El-Rufai had in an interview with Channels TV and monitored by Daily Trust, on Friday ruled out the possibility of paying ransom or negotiating with the bandits.
Social media account of students
Using the abducted students Facebook accounts, the gunmen released three videos showing the students surrounded by gunmen in military uniform flogging them.
Some of the students earlier rescued from the college identified their friends and schoolmates from the videos to our correspondents.
In the first video released on Friday at 1:07pm through the Facebook account of Kelvita K. Dan, the 30 seconds video showed the abducted students in what appeared to be a forest area following which the gunmen pointed at a man in a red shirt and asked him to speak. “My name is Abubakar Yakubu,” he said.
“A student of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation Kaduna. I am appealing to the Governor of Kaduna state, the state government and Federal government,” before the video ended.
Kelvita’s Facebook post appealed to the Nigerian government to come to their rescue by paying the N500 million demanded by their abductors.
She stated: “Please we really need your help, they are asking for N500 million.”
Roll call of students
Daily Trust reports that as soon as the second and third videos were posted through the Facebook page of Tasha Sandra, some of the students earlier rescued by the military burst into tears as they pointed out their friends and schoolmates.
Miracle Jacob, who sobbed uncontrollably, identified 11 of the abducted students from the video and gave their names as:
Amina Yusuf Sale,
Jamila Yusuf Sale,
Sarah and Maman Ahmed.
Most of the female students were unclad with only wrappers tied around their chest while majority of the male students were shirtless.
She said one of the schoolmates they call Maman Ahmed was six months pregnant while Rose Okoye was preparing for her wedding.
In the second video posted around 11:30 am on Saturday, the gunmen were seen flogging the students while they screamed and appealed to the government to come to their rescue.
“Our life is in danger, just give them what they want,” some of the students screamed.
Others said: “They should just pay the ransom and allow us to go, our parents need us.”
The third video showed a gun pointed to a man identified as Benson Emmanuel who appealed to the government to secure their release.
“Most of us here have been badly injure, time is going, most of us here are having health issues and they are complaining about the government trying to send security operatives to come and rescue us which is almost impossible, because they have surrounded us saying anybody that comes from anywhere to try to rescue us or do anything by force, they are going to take our lives.”
“We are appealing to government to come now that is early because these people have bad mind towards us, we are appealing to the government to help us,” he said.
In the video, the voice of one of the bandits could be heard in Hausa saying a female should be allowed to speak and the camera was panned to a woman identified as Maman Ahmed.
Speaking in Hausa, she said: “Salamu alaikum, I am one of the students that were abducted from Forestry Mechanisation the day before yesterday. We are appealing to the government to help us. We heard they are saying that they will send soldiers to rescue us, we are urging them not to send anyone because they have assured us that if soldiers come, none of us will return home,” she said.
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