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Negotiate now before bandits kill our abducted children – Parents tell El-Rufai

The parents of the 39 kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Mando Igani Local Government Area, Kaduna, have appealed to the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to negotiate with bandits to secure the freedom of their children.

Recall that bandits reportedly invaded the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation school on March 12, carting away with 23 female and 16 male students. The gunmen later released a video of the abducted school students and demanded N500 million to grant them freedom.

Security agencies confirmed that 180 abductees were rescued, but 39 students are still in captivity.

A member of staff of the school and representative of the affected parents, Sani Friday, while speaking to newsmen on Thursday, said the parents are afraid that the bandits might kill their children if the government deploy forces.

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Friday, whose daughter is also amongst the school students in the kidnapper’s den, appeals to the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to reconsider and adjust his no-payment-of-ransom stand so the students would be released.

He said, “It is this state governor who sometimes ago told the entire Kaduna State that if it costs him to pay bandits to stop killing citizens of Kaduna State, he will pay them.

“Now, the state government came out even before the abduction of our students in the Federal College of Forestry that it is wrong to negotiate with bandits and that he is not going to negotiate.

“After that statement, this incident happened, and it is based on that statement that the government is standing that it will not negotiate. But he (El-Rufai) made a statement before that he can do anything for the bandits to stop killing, so we want him to do something.

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“One of the fears we have is that if the government feels that they can use force to bring out these children, it will be very disastrous 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 our children are being used as shields.

“The first way we want the government to go about this is to negotiate even if they want to put any other security measure on the ground; it should be after the negotiation.”

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