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Bandits release 27 abducted students in Kaduna

Afaka parents commend Obasanjo, Gumi

The remaining 27 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, have regained their freedom. This is as bandits have again killed two persons and abduct 13 others in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The bandits who stormed Bakin Kasuwa around the Gwagwada general area of Chikun Local Government Area also burnt down a church located within the area before moving away with the worshipers mainly women.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government has confirmed the abductions and killings of the villagers disclosing that the 13 persons kidnapped have been rescued after a gun duel between the bandits and the troops deployed to the area to protect lives and properties. On his part, Chairman of the parents of the abducted Afaka 39 students, Mallam Abdullahi Usman, confirmed the release of their wards to New Telegraph in Kaduna on Wednesday evening.

The students were among the 39 abducted from their school about two months ago. Their abductors had initially demanded a N500 million ransom from the Kaduna State Government but met a stiff opposition from the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai who ruled out the option of negotiation and payment of ransom. It was gathered that10 of the students, were earlier released before the last 27 got their freedom on Wednesday. Usman also told our correspondent on phone that even though he was yet to set his eyes on the students, they have been reliably informed that the students are on their way to Kaduna.

He also stated that former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Sheikh Abubakar Gumi dialogue committee were very instrumental to the release of the students. Asked on the specific role played by the duo, Usman said: “I just want Nigerians to help us appreciate these leaders, (Obasanjo and Sheikh Gumi) they really helped us during the time of our needs. We also want to thanked those that prayed for us. “The media that were always there for us. Our children are on their way to the hospital, that is all I can say for now.”

The Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El- Rufai however called on the released students to see their ordeal as a pathway to a brighter future. In a terse statement entitled, “KDSG rejoices with freed Afaka students” El-Rufai said, “The Kaduna State Police Command has reported to the Kaduna State Government, the release of the remaining students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation. “The government rejoices with the freed students, their families and the management of the institution over this development.”

In the same vein, the state’s Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, in his reaction to the killing and burning of the church, said: “Troops have reported the rescue of 13 kidnapped persons from bandits in Gwagwada, Chikun Local Government Area.

“The 13 citizens, originally from Dutse, went to work at a farm called Tanadi Farm, which is located around Bakin Kasuwa in Gwagwada general area of Chikun LGA. They were attacked by the armed bandits in the process. Reacting, El-Rufai, “thanked the troops and commended them warmly for the successful rescue operation. He also commiserated with the families of the deceased volunteers, and prayed for the repose of their souls. “The governor also extended his sympathy to the leadership and members of the razed church over the unfortunate attack, and directed the State Emergency Management Agency to conduct an immediate assessment of the damage.”

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