Remaining Kaduna college abductees regain freedom, gov’t silent on paid ransom

Some of the abducted student while in captivity

The Kaduna State government has confirmed receiving reports from the Police in the state Command that the remaining 27 abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization have been released.

The students have been in captivity for more than five weeks.

The Kaduna state government had issued a statement rejoicing “with the freed students, their families and the management of the institution over this development”.

The state’s Commissioner of internal security and home affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said “Governor Nasir El-Rufai charged the freed students to view their ordeal as a motivator to put the past behind and work hard towards a happier and successful future ahead.”

On March 11, 2021, some unknown gunmen abducted 39 students from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria.

The Kaduna state government had remained adamant that it would not negotiate or pay ransom, as Governor Nasir El-rufai said doing so fuels commission of such crimes.

Weeks after, the abductors released ten students following alleged payment of insignificant amount of money by the parents of the students. A claim many Nigerians felt was too good to be true.

Witnesses said the newly released students were taken to the police headquarters in Kaduna on Wednesday night.

“Most of them were looking weak, miserable and dishevelled,” the eyewitness said.

“One female student could not walk by herself; she had to be supported into the building.

Police barred journalists from speaking with the students.

Since December last year, over 700 people, mostly children and students and pupils, have been abducted from schools in northwest and Northcentral Nigeria.

Most of the kidnappings were motivated by the quest for ransom money which most of the state governments paid in exchange for the abductees.

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