Twenty-five days after they were abducted, five of the 39 students taken away by terrorists from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria, have regained freedom after a rescue mission by the military, an official said on Monday.
On March 12, a terror gang abducted the 39 students – 23 females and 16 males – when they invaded the school located in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
In a press statement on Monday, Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, said the Nigerian Army rescued five of the abducted students who were immediately taken to a military facility for a thorough medical check-up.
“The Nigerian military has informed the Kaduna State Government that five of the many kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna were recovered this afternoon and are presently in a military facility where they are undergoing a thorough medical check-up,” Aruwan’s statement read.
“The Kaduna State Government will provide updates on further operational feedback to be received on this case.”
The statement did not give further details on how the students were rescued and how the rest would be rescued.
Earlier on Monday, aggrieved parents of the abducted students demanded that the abductors negotiate with them on the release of their children.
The parents had in the past staged a protest against the government’s handling of the kidnap case.
Weary by the long wait for their children’s release, the parents, on Monday, April 5, said they were ready to negotiate with the terrorists, saying “we cannot sit and do nothing.”
Sam Kambai, the head of the parents’ association, accused the government of not being proactive about rescuing their children from abductors.
“Today makes it 25 dreary and excruciatingly difficult days since our children have been in captivity,” Kambai said.
Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, has repeatedly said his administration would not negotiate with the terrorists, describing them as “persons without hearts.”
“We will not engage with bandits or kidnappers. Private citizens like clerics and clergymen can do so in their individual capacities. We also want them to repent but it is not our job to ask them to do so,” El-Rufai reiterated his non-negotiation stance on Channels Television on Sunday evening.