One of the parents of the abducted students of Greenfield University in Kaduna State has pleaded with the Federal Government to rescue their children.
The parent, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Tuesday said the release of the students will increase the faith of the students and their parents in Nigeria.
Twenty-two students and a member of staff of the institution were abducted from the school campus along the Kaduna-Abuja highway on April 20 and within a week, five of them were killed.
In a recent interview with the Hausa Service of Voice of America (VOA), a leader of the bandit group who identified himself as Sani Idris Jalingo, threatened that if the Kaduna State Government or their families failed to pay a ransom of N100 million as well as provide them with 10 brand Honda motorcycles by Tuesday, the remaining students would be killed.
But speaking on the condition of anonymity with SaharaReporters on Tuesday, the parent said, “We are pleading with the government to come to our aid. We know the stand of the Kaduna State government, not to negotiate with bandits but to provide security is the job of the Nigerian government, not even the state. Constitutionally, the federal government has the right to provide security.
“So, when the governor of a state says he has no power, he is actually right. If you look at it the other way round, he has no control over the Army neither does he have control over the police but all those powers are exclusive to the Federal Government, so the Federal Government has to come up with measures and strategies that will deliver these children out of the kidnappers' hands whether it means negotiating with them or meeting their demands; it is not out of place.
“It is on record that America had come to rescue only one citizen over here, we should take a cue from there because once citizens know that their country protects and secures them, it means the citizens will be loyal to the country but in times like this when we need the intervention of the government, if they don't help us, what that means is that those children and every other person will not have faith and confidence in the ability of the government to protect the citizens.
“We are begging and pleading with the government, especially the Federal Government to help us. We have done our best, what they are demanding is huge. We are calling on the Federal Government, let them come in, negotiate with the bandits. All we want is that our children should come back. It is so important to us because our children are our future and they are also the future of this country.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the bandit who surfaced in a video yesterday, said there were 17 students in their custody, comprising 15 female and two male students.
It was learnt that one of them is a grandchild of the late 18th Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, whom he identified as Hamza.
The bandit revealed that the families of the students had already raised and paid N55 million to them but he added that they had used the money to feed the students.
He vowed that it was his final warning and should the government or the students’ families fail to meet their demands, all the students would be killed.
“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," he said.
Asked if he sees himself as a terrorist, Jalingo laughed and said: “I’m not but a food seeker.”
Emphasising his threat, the bandit said: “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 warned security agencies not to waste their time planting trackers on the motorcycles, saying his members do not go to cities and therefore arresting them will be difficult.