Nineteen days of hunger has reportedly led to the death of one out of the 39 students abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Afaka, Kaduna State, by gunmen.
A competent source privy to the development told THE WHISTLER on Tuesday that the federal and Kaduna State governments’ lackadaisical attitude toward the abduction was responsible for the students’ continued stay in the kidnappers’ den.
Gunmen suspected to be bandits had on March 11 breached the perimeter fence of the federal college and kidnapped no fewer than 39 male and female students.
The abductors were said to have subsequently demanded N500 million ransom from the government and parents of the students.
But nineteen days after, no fruitful report had come out from the abduction. The kidnappers had recently released a video which showed one of the students who identified himself as Abubakar Yakubu pleading with the government to rescue them as they were already being tortured by the bandits.
THE WHISTLER also gathered that one of the students, a female, is currently sick and heavily pregnant.
Parents of the abducted had last week staged a protest and accused the federal government of doing nothing to rescue their children.
This website furhter gathered that the parents had visited renowned Islamic scholar, Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, to find out what the federal and Kaduna State governments were doing to rescue their children.
But Gumi, who has been at the forefront of negotiations with bandits kidnapping schoolchildren across the country, reportedly told the parents that the government had been cold toward the students’ rescue.
“The parents came to Sheikh (Gumi) and from the contacts, we know specifically the group that took her. But nobody has any permission from either the federal or state governments to help negotiate their release,” said the source.
The source warned that the current state of things may boomerang on the federal government as a narrative is already making the rounds that it was unenthusiastic about securing the students because they are predominantly Christians.
Part of the narrative allegedly being told is that the federal government was quick to respond when largely Muslim schoolchildren were kidnapped from secondary schools in Kankara (Katsina State) and Jangebe (Zamfara State), amongst others.
“This time (Kaduna college abduction) there is no any federal presence and even the parents are getting frustrated. This is going to backfire on this government.
“The family of the students went to Sheikh Gumi and he told them that there is no favourable body language from the government for any intervention.
“Over 90 percent of these students are Christians and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is saying is it because it is predominantly Christians – like the Chibok and Dapchi abductions – that the federal government is not as fast in getting them out of the kidnappers den like it did when majority of Muslim schoolchildren were abducted in Kankara, Kagara, Jangebe.
He further warned that, “Once CAN starts making its trouble the international community will take it up.”
THE WHISTLER recalls that during its protest on Monday, the Kaduna chapter of CAN had accused President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of playing politics with the lives of Nigerians.
The protesters led by Kaduna CAN chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab, had converged on the Albarka Fellowship Baptist Church, Kaduna, to criticize the government’s handling of the abduction.
“Our governor has failed us in the state for allowing kidnappers to abduct innocent citizens at will without any effort to rescue them.
“We still have 39 students in captivity for several weeks now. Just this weekend, eight members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) were kidnapped and the kidnappers are demanding N50 million ransom. The government should wake up and save the lives of Nigerians,” Hayab had said.