Parents of the 39 students abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State have accused the state government of abandoning the children and doing nothing to secure their release.
At a joint press conference addressed on Monday, the distraught parents described the government’s publicised stance not to negotiate with bandits and the threat to prosecute anyone who does as callous and unfortunate.
They, however, vowed to do anything possible to secure their children’s freedom from their captors.
The parents said it was unfortunate that the state Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, had not deemed it fit to address the parents since the children were abducted from their hostels.
A statement signed by the duo of Sam Kambai (Chairman) and Comrade Sanni Friday (Secretary) on behalf of the parents read said: “Today makes it 25 dreary and excruciatingly difficult days since our children have been in captivity. We have not received any words of empathy or assurance from government nor have we seen any action to inspire confidence that something is being done to secure the safe release of our children.
“For the record, the governor of Kaduna State has never addressed the parents of these students from the first day of the incident until now.
“They have shown no concern about the trauma the parents have been enduring.”
The parents particularly expressed discomfort with the widely publicised government’s stance not to negotiate with the bandits towards releasing the children
They said: “We wish to reiterate that we will do everything within our power; everything humanly possible, with the help of God, to ensure that our children do not perish.”
They noted that it was due to the failure of government to live up to its primary responsibility of securing lives and property that the children were abducted in the first place.
“For government to not do everything to secure the release of the students 25 days after their abduction, and for government to keep the parents in the dark as to what it is doing, if any at all, smacks of gross insensitivity,” they said.
They also noted, with disappointment, that there was no mention of the abducted children in Governor El-Rufai’s Easter message, nor any assurance of what government is doing to ensure their release.
This, they said, is a confirmation of their fears that the government has abandoned the children.
“We can never abandon our children and we will do whatever we can to see that we get them back,” they said, adding that they would not be cowed or intimidated by government’s threat of prosecution.