OVERVIEW OF: Greenfield students: Tension, anxiety as bandits’ deadline elapses
Parents of the abducted students of Greenfield University Kaduna who were recently kidnapped from their hostel by gunmen suspected to be bandits are currently in confusion as the fate of their children remain unknown amid threat by the abductors to execute the victims after the Tuesday deadline.
Our Source recalls that about 22 students were abducted from the university campus on April 20 when the assailants invaded the school premises and whisked the students away to an unknown destination.
The gunmen within a week, killed five of the victims as the State Governor, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai vowed not to engage in negotiations with any bandit.
The governor in an interview recently, said even if his son is kidnapped by the bandits, he would rather ensure that he makes heaven than pay ransom for his release.
Following the governor’s refusal to engage in negotiations, the helpless parents have several times staged protests in Kaduna, demanding the intervention of the Federal and State Government to ensure the students are rescued alive.
However, their efforts were relatively unproductive as the students remain in captivity.
Our Source recalls that the leader of the abductors who identified himself as Sani Idris Jalingo on Monday gave the Nigerian government Tuesday as the deadline to make the ransom available or prepare a truck to convey the bodies of the student.
Jalingo who spoke in an interview on Hausa Service of Voice of America (VOA), said the remaining 17 students would be killed if the government failed to meet their demand.
According to him, the demand includes N100 million and 10 brand Honda motorcycles which he referred to as ‘Boko Haram’.
“You are speaking with the abductors of Greenfield students. We heard the utterances of the Kaduna State Governor that he will not pay ransom to bandits to purchase additional arms.
“If they fail to bring N100 million and 10 brand-new Honda motorcycles known as Boko Haram by Tuesday, I can assure you they will use trucks to evacuate the bodies of the remaining students,” he said.
However, it was reported that one of the 17 students was released on Tuesday, leaving sixteen in captivity.
The mother of the student, Lauritta Attahiru confirmed the release of her son to newsmen on Tuesday.
It was unclear whether the parents paid ransom before the son was freed by the abductors as the mother refused to give details of the release.
However, some of the parents said the student was released on Saturday after his mother, who is the wife of a Retired Army officer from Plateau State negotiated and paid ransom to the bandits privately before they released her son on Saturday.
Recall that before his VOA interview, Jalingo had during negotiations with parents asked for N20 million for each of their captive.
Following the threat, the parents have, however, pleaded with the abductors to exercise patience while they work towards the provision of the N100 million and the 10 motorcycles.
Our Source recalls that the frustrated parents on Tuesday stormed the National Assembly where they expressed their disappointment on how the government is keeping mum on the issue.
They also demanded that the lawmakers intervene to expedite the release of their children before the deadline elapses.
Some concerned Nigerians worried about the fate of the students, went spiritual by soliciting prayers from Nigerians to ensure the students are released alive.
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode on his verified Twitter handle, said his heart goes with the abducted students.
“Please pray for the Greenfield University students. Pray very hard for divine intervention. My heart goes out to the children and their parents in this dark hour. May God help us all”, he tweeted.
The Founder and Senior Pastor of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleman blamed the government for pampering the bandits before the situation escalated.
On his verified Twitter handle, the renowned gospel preacher said, “When they started pampering “repentant bandits” I cried out. Repentance is unto God, not man. Then they started paying bandits.
“Now it has become a lucrative business for trigger happy fellows and enemies of our collective patrimony.
“Let’s pray for #Greenfielduniversity students. Let the Lord preserve them. Let the Angels of the Lord reactivate(Acts 12)and set them free in Jesus name.
A Nigerian actor and comedian, Kunle Idowu, popularly known as Frank Donga slammed the security agencies for their inability to rescue the students.
“When I remember the students killed at #Greenfielduniversity and those still in danger, I can’t help thinking that some people somewhere are collecting salaries and allowances for securing citizens and there’s this much insecurity”, he tweeted.
Our Source had reported that the Senator who represented the Kaduna Centre, during the 8th National Assembly, Shehu Sani on Tuesday urged the government to immediately rescue the stranded students.
“The abduction of Students of the Greenfield University that follows the kidnapping of the students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization is a condemnable and dangerous dimension to the apparent paralysis of security in Kaduna State and the North West.
“The Federal and Kaduna State Governments must not take lightly the threats by the bandits to callously harm these helpless students on the expiration of their dateline.
“Kidnappers are holding the Balls of the Government and the groins of our country, getting out of it, by all means, is what matters.
“The clock ticks for the lives of the students and the honour of the Government.
“If we fail to provide for the new generation, we must not fail to protect them,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.