- Corpses dropped near varsity, bandits insist on N800m ransom
- Banditry now war situation, govt should cooperate –Gumi
Parents of the abducted students of Greenfield University, Kaduna State, have been left devastated after news filtered in on Friday that the kidnappers had killed three of the students.
In a related development, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union on Friday alleged that no fewer than 65 Adara villagers in the Kajuru Local Government Area of the state were abducted by gunmen on Tuesday.
Greenfield University, which is privately owned, is located along the Kaduna-Abuja Highway in Kasarami, Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
Gunmen had reportedly kidnapped 23 students of the university on Tuesday night, killing a staff member during a shooting spree.
The bandits later made contact with the parents and demanded a ransom of N800m for the students’ release.
Sadly, on Friday, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, broke the news of the killing of three of the students by the bandits.
He said in a statement that the students’ remains were found close to the university on Friday.
The murdered students were two females and a male.
Aruwan said, “In an act of mindless evil and sheer wickedness, the bandits who kidnapped students of Greenfield University have shot dead three of the abducted students.
“The remains of three students were found today (Friday) in Kwanan Bature village, a location close to the university, and have been evacuated to a mortuary by the Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs (Aruwan), and the Force Commander, Operation Thunder Strike, Lt Col MH Abdullahi.”
Aruwan said the state Governor Nasir El-Rufai mourned and condemned the students’ killing and described it as “sheer wickedness, inhumanity, and an outright desecration of human lives by vile entities.”
Aruwan quoted El-Rufai as saying the bandits represented the worst of humankind and must be fought at all costs for the violent wickedness that they represented.
However, some parents of the abducted students have been left traumatised following the development on Friday, expressing panic over the fate of the remaining students.
The parents said the bandits were insisting on collecting N800m ransom before releasing the remaining students.
One of the parents, who spoke to Saturday PUNCH on condition of anonymity, said they met with the management of Greenfield University on Thursday and agreed on “collective bargaining.”
“We met on Thursday with the school authorities. We agreed on collective bargaining. We don’t know what went wrong. The bandits are still insisting on the N800m ransom that they earlier demanded,” the parent said.
Another parent who also spoke on condition of anonymity said the bandits insisted on collecting the full ransom, adding that the failure to pay it must have led to the killing of the three students.
“It’s unfortunate that the state is still insisting on not having anything to do with the negotiations even when lives are involved,” the parent said, adding that the bandits had vowed to kill the remaining students should the parents fail to pay the ransom or attempt to use force to free the students.
Meanwhile, perturbed by the news of the killing of the three students, some parents of the abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry, Kaduna, also expressed panic on Friday, calling on the international community to intervene.
Gunmen had on March 11 abducted 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Mando, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Ten of the students have been released by their captors, while 29 remain in captivity.
A parent of one of the abducted students who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity expressed fear and frustration, saying their hope only rested on God at the moment.
“We are looking unto God,” the frustrated parent said on the telephone, asking, “What else do you want me to say?”
Another parent, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, urged the international community to wade into the matter for their children to be freed.
The parent said, “We heard what happened (the killing of the three Greenfield University students). We are really concerned about the situation at hand.
“We are worried that if care is not taken, what befell those students may happen to our children. We are not praying for that, though.
“It is based on this that we are calling on well-meaning Nigerians, the state and federal governments, as well as the United Nations, to save the situation.
“We, in particular, call on the United Nations to prevail on the Nigerian government to do the needful in order to save our children from these bandits. We are calling on the international community to do something and not just watch what is happening in Kaduna State.”