The remaining 29 students abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka in Kaduna State have regained freedom.
Mr Abdullahi Usman, who is the Chairman of the Parents’ Committee, confirmed the release of the students by bandits to Channels Television on Wednesday in Kaduna.
He explained that the victims were released some minutes past 4pm around the Kidanda area in Giwa Local Government Area of the state, and were on their way back to the state capital.
Usman, however, refused to disclose the amount paid as ransom to the bandits for the release of the students.
Authorities in the state and the Kaduna State Police Command have yet to confirm the latest development.
55 Days Of Horror
It is freedom at last for the remaining students of the institution after 55 days of horror in the captivity of the bandits.
Bandits stormed the school in Igabi Local Government Area very early on March 11 with the intention to abduct many students.
While they were on a mission that could be described as a silent attack, a student who sighted them raised an alarm – causing tension in the school.
Soldiers in the area promptly responded to a distress call and engaged the bandits in a fierce gunfight in a bid to thwart the attack.
The action of the security operatives led to the rescue of 180 people, comprising 132 male students, 40 female students, and eight civilian staff.
Despite the intervention, the bandits still abducted 23 female and 16 male students, leaving their parents in despair with calls on the government to rescue them.
Sadly, one of those missing was a female student, Fatima Shamaki, whose father died from a heart attack after the news of her abduction was broken to him.
The bandits had released videos in which they made some demands and threatened to kill the students should their demands were not met.
323 Deaths In Three Months
Amid heightened calls for their release by the parents of the victims and concerned persons, the state government insisted that it would not negotiate with the bandits.
It, however, accused the armed men of killing students in the state to blackmail the government and compel it to abandon its ‘no ransom, no negotiation’ policy.
The students were later released in three batches in a space of one month – five on April 5, five on April 8, and 29 on March 5.
Banditry in Kaduna has taken a disturbing trend as the armed men killed a total of 323 people between January and March.
The first quarter security report by the government also revealed that within the period, bandits killed 292 males and 20 females, as well as kidnapped 949 people.
Kaduna Central senatorial district accounted for 236 deaths within Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Igabi, and Kajuru Local Government Areas.