New Telegraph

Islamiyya school abduction: We feel abandoned, losing patience, parents cry out

Parents of the over 130 abducted pupils of Tanko Salihu Islamiyya School, Tegina, Niger State, have expressed their disappointment over the delay in getting their children released following news that over eighty percent of them are very sick and could no longer walk. The worries and anxiety have mounted despite their efforts in raising some money and giving it to the bandits.

It should be recalled that the state government had often times reiterated that it would not pay ransom to bandits or terrorists but has resolved to combat them. Saturday Telegraph gathered from a reliable source that the condition of the 136 pupils who have spent over 40 days in captivity has become a serious concern after the bandits called to say more than 80 percent are sick and are only given Paracetamol. Our Correspondent gathered that, their illness is also a concern to their abductors who are said to be moving the children from one point to the other every three days to escape detection.

The source told our Correspondent that some of the children can hardly eat or walk and there is no medical attention other than “self-prescription of Panadol or Paracetamol to mitigate the children’s excruciating pain.” A parent who did not want his name mentioned said, “Our children have been forgotten, abandoned by the government.

The condition of the children was compounded by the initial flogging they received from their abductors at the early days of their abduction. We are afraid the worst may happen.” He added “Even though the bandits have reduced the ransom to N50 million, our efforts to raise money have not yielded enough but we were able to raise N26million which we have given to them but they still have not released our children except it is the N50million they demanded. The headmaster of the school who also has a child among the abducted, Alhassan Garba Abubakar, while expressing disappointment in the delay and government’s approach, said, “I am not satisfied at all.

They (bandits) have not stopped contacting me. They call and sometimes flash me. The last time they called, they told me that the health condition of the children was not good, and that more than 80 percent of them are sick and that they cannot walk again.” While expressing skepticism with the approach of the government to go full combat, he said, “It is a welcome development provided that our children will be brought back safely. I am not satisfied actually, but I cannot just argue with the Governor. The children are still with their captors. I am not satisfied.

My child is also there, if the government is going there for combat with these bandits how do you expect me to feel, because there are possibilities that I may lose my child. “One way or the other we may lose these children. It is a nice plan but I am not happy with it. I want the state government to follow these bandits, have dialogue with them and bring our children back safely”. He however expressed hope that the children will be returned safely following the return of Jibrin Mohammed one of the teachers who escaped from Zamfara. Another parent, Ahmed Mohammed, told the Saturday Telegraph that, “I am worried because I don’t want to lose my child.

We are not losing hope; with this move by the government, we just believe that the Almighty Allah will help rescue our children and bring them to us safely”. When the Saturday Telegraph spoke to 40-year-old Malam Abubakar Adamu whose eight children are among the abducted students, he lamented that he and his wives have been devastated ever since the abduction.

He told our Correspondent that his children are six males and two females, out of which seven are students while one is a teacher.” He added, “We have been more prayerful, more united as a family and have been begging God, so that the children and the other victims can be released to us safely.

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