In an effort to secure the release of their children, one parent of the kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, has revealed how she and other parents met with controversial Islamic scholar, Ahmad Gumi, who directed them to a Fulani man named Ahmed.
In an interview with Roots TV, the parent narrated how they paid N800,000 to the said Ahmed.
Recall that on March 11, 2021, 39 students of the school were kidnapped by bandits in the state. Out of the 39 students, 10 had so far been released, remaining 29 of them.
On Tuesday, the parents protested at the National Assembly, calling on the Federal Government to help them secure the release of their children.
Speaking with Roots TV, one of the parents narrated their encounter with Gumi, who has been speaking for bandits of late.
"They took us to #Gumi's house, he directed us to an Ahmed, who invited a Fulani man from #Kaduna, we contributed N800,000 for him, he told us that was just for transport. I cried and pled with him, saying I'm a widow. He said it wasn't his concern" – Kidnapped Student's Mother pic.twitter.com/lh5sRxKgAt
— RootsTv (@rootstvnigeria) May 4, 2021
The parent said, “We kept going for meetings. They took us to Gumi’s house who said we should meet one Ahmed. I’ve forgotten the name. A Fulani man was invited, we contributed almost N800,000 to him but he said the money was just for transportation. Then I started crying and pleaded with him that I am a widow, training my boy to become my helper in the future but he said that was not his concern.”
She said the unidentified Fulani man was invited to an office in Kaduna to meet the parents.
“We kept begging him but he insisted that we must pay N500 million.”
Another parent also said, “The trauma is too much, I can hardly sleep. We are walking corpses. People see us as being alive but we are already dead. In the night, one cannot sleep, if you want to sleep you will be thinking about the condition of your child; if the child is dead, alive, eaten.
“They (kidnappers) were after the government paying that money– N500 million. Like me in particular, they kept calling me ‘Madam, go and talk to the government to pay the money’. All I kept telling them was that I am a widow, I don’t have access to the government.
“Maybe if my husband were to be alive, he would know somebody who would help him to talk to the government. They kept calling me for almost two weeks and I told them the same thing.”
Kaduna State has been a hotbed of kidnappers of late as the criminals target schools.
No fewer than 23 students and a member of staff of Greenfield University, Kaduna were also abducted from the school on April 20, 2021. Few days later, five of the students were killed by the bandits.
Though the bandits have demanded N100m ransom, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has kicked against it, while also threatening to arrest any parent who pays ransom to the bandits.