Greenfield University: Bandits refuse to release Kaduna students after ₦60 million ransom — parents

Parents of the remaining abducted students of Greenfield University in Kaduna state have decried the silence by the government over securing the release of thei children.

The parents had called on the Nigerian government to assist in rescuing their abducted children from the captivity of bandits.

The Greenfield University students were abducted on April 20 from their Kaduna campus after which three of them were killed by their kidnappers.

During the attack on the private university along the Kaduna-Abuja highway, a staff member of the school was also killed.

Speaking with Sahara Reporters on Thursday, one of the parents described the children’s continuous stay in captivity, coupled with the government’s position, as worrisome.

According to him, the parents hoped that with the release of the students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna on May 5, the release of the abducted students of Greenfield University, was not going to be delayed.

He, however, said the government had disappointed the parents.

The parent, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the government had always been silent and been forthcoming on a solution to the problem despite the bandits’ insistence on negotiating with the Federal government.

“The impression they gave us was that, as soon as the Afaka students were released, our children too would be released,” he said.

“Up till now, nothing has been done on the part of the government. It has always been the parents talking and begging the bandits, the government has not said anything about it.

“Government has always kept quiet, they have always been quiet. If you recall, when the Afaka incident happened, there was nothing from the government.

“The parents of Afaka went to the Government House in Kaduna and there was no response. After 56 days, they went to the National Assembly in Abuja, that was when some notable Nigerians intervened and within 48 hours, the Afaka students were released.

“Immediately, there was a statement that since Afaka students have been released, the next will be the Greenfield University students.

“Between then and now, you can see the number of days and weeks that has passed, the government never said anything, we the parents have tried to reach out, we have not got any response from the government.

“That’s why you see us organising press conferences to remind the government that the students are still in captivity, but till this moment, we have not got any response from any tier of government, both federal and state, not even the local government.

“The bandits call us and we plead that they should have mercy on us, that we cannot afford the amount they are demanding.

“The bandits are insisting on ₦100 million and we as parents have tried our best by raising ₦60 million but they said it is not enough.

“To be candid, it takes a committed president to ensure the issue of Greenfield abduction is at the fore every day in the media, that alone is a reminder and then create a hashtag #ReleaseGreenfieldUniversityStudents, people will start commenting and it will begin to trend. You know the press has the capacity for this but if the press is not doing this, the parents can only do little to enlighten people about the plights of abducted students and their parents.”

Also speaking with Sahara Reporters, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna, John Hayab, assured that efforts are on to secure the release of the students.

He also condemned the stance of the Governor Nasir El-Rufai on the issue, describing the governor’s comment as immature.

Hayab said, “Efforts are on behind the scene to get them out but the major concern is the careless speech by our Governor who is not exhibiting maturity at all in these difficult times for parents and for everyone who has a conscience.

”The huge demands by the bandit are not easy to get. Many parents have been laid off from their jobs and their allowances have not yet been paid. How can you expect them to produce such an amount for kidnappers?

”Many people are afraid to speak about the kidnapped children so that they may not get into the governor’s bad book but keeping silent is not good and will not help to resolve the problem.”

Sahara Reporters

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