New Telegraph

September 22, 2023

Negotiate with bandits, we want our children back – Parents of abducted Afaka students plead


Sani Friday, a parent of two of the abducted students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, says he and other parents want the government to negotiate with the bandits.
Friday, who is a representative of the parents, said this on Thursday in an interview with ‘Channels Television’.
About two weeks ago, gunmen attacked the school around 3 am, kidnapping at least 30 students.
Days after the incident, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna State, said his job as governor is to enforce the law and prosecute people who commit offences, and not to negotiate with bandits.
Commenting on el-Rufai’s decision not to negotiate with the bandits, Friday said the parents are worried that the government will try to use force to rescue the students.
He said doing so may make the bandits eliminate the hostages, adding that the parents want the government to negotiate with the bandits.
“It is the same state government which sometime ago told the entire Kaduna State that if it cost him paying bandits to stop killing the citizens of Kaduna State, he will pay them. But that statement was about a year or two ago,” he said.
“One of the fears we have is if the government feels they can use force to bring out these children, it will be a disastrous move because these bandits are well-equipped. They may decide to eliminate the children if they discover that the government is trying to use aggressive force on them because they are using our children as a shield for themselves.
“The best way we want government to go about this is to first of all, negotiate. Even if they want to put any other security measure on ground, it should be after this.
“Parents are crying, why is it that it’s in our time that we’re going through all this? If the state government feels they cannot negotiate, let the Federal Government do something for our children to be reunited to us.”

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