‘I won’t be blackmailed’ — el-Rufai defiant as bandits threaten to kill abducted students

This is even as parents of the students have raised an alarm that the bandits are threatening to kill their children held hostage.

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The Kaduna state government says it will not succumb to emotional blackmail regarding the fate of the abducted students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanization.

This is even as parents of the students have raised an alarm that the bandits are threatening to kill their children held hostage.

The students were abducted in March when the bandits attacked the college located in Igabi LGA.

So far, 10 of them have been freed, leaving 29 still in captivity.

While the parents have continued to seek dialogue with the kidnappers to help rescue their children, the Kaduna government has insisted it will not take such measure, warning of its consequences.

At a briefing on Friday, Friday Sanni, who spoke on behalf of the parents, said they will continue to find a way to reach out to the bandits.

He said: “We will continue to protest, no matter the number of security forces. The highest is death and we are ready to sacrifice that for our children who have promising futures.

“The fate of our children is what we don’t know and that is the problem we have, the government has kept silent since the release of 10 of the children. The government has remained quiet about our abducted children.

“We are calling on Nigerians, non-governmental organisations, charity organisations and donors to come to our aid in donating to rescue our children. We don’t know what is happening to them.

“The bandits have threatened to kill our children if we play with them. The other time they said they will marry the female and kill the men and that a time will come when even if we bring the money, the money will not be useful.”

KADUNA ‘RESOLUTE TO RESCUE THE STUDENTS BUT WON’T BE BLACKMAILED’

In a statement issued hours after the briefing, Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna commissioner for internal security and home affairs, said the state will continue to make efforts to crush bandits.

He added that the governor will not join issues with the parents neither will he succumb to the “politicisation” of the matter.

“The Governor will continue to work hard until banditry is contained, without succumbing to emotional blackmail and gradual politicization of the unfortunate situation,” he said.

“For instance, some sections of the media have been reporting the parents’ responses to purported threats by the Governor to prosecute them, which is simply false and deeply mischievous.

“The statement of the Government warning impostors who have been presenting themselves as Government-appointed emissaries to negotiate with bandits across the State has nothing to do with the parents or relatives of the abducted students or any other person in captivity.

“Finally, the State Government will not join issues with the parents whose pain we understand and with whom we share the common goal of the return of all the abducted students.”

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