BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN |
Parents of the remaining 29 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna, have threatened to storm the National Assembly to stage a protest if the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), which supervises the college, fails to secure the release of their children from their abductors by midnight of Thursday, April 29, 2021.
Ten of the 39 students abducted on Tuesday, March 11, 2021 have already been released by the abductors in two batches of 5 each.
Depressed by the continued captivity of the children suffering severe maltreatment in the hands of their abductors, and, consequently, enraged by the devastating indifference of the government, through the FRIN, to their plight, the parents rose from their meeting on Monday, April 26, giving the FRIN 72 hours, which expires, midnight of Thursday, April 29 within which to secure the release of the abductees.
The Monday meeting reviewed events from the first day of abduction of the students, on 11th March 2021, 51 days ago, to date, beyond the release of 10 of the students, and noted that there is no sign whatsoever that anything is being done at any level to secure the release of the remaining 29 students.
Consequently, and the parents see no hope in sight for the release of their children. What stares at them now is depressing abandonment and neglect of the poor children.
As at the afternoon of Thursday, April 29, there was no inkling of hope from any government quarters, suggesting any time for the release of the 29 remaining abductees.
At the National Assembly, the aggrieved parents would seek the intervention of the Federal Parliamentarians to query the Minister of Environment whose ministry oversees the affairs of FRIN, which in turn oversees the affairs of the College where their children were abducted, over the continued captivity of the children.
Since the 10 students were released in two batches of 5 each, the parents have been condemned to excruciating trauma over the continued captivity of their children, especially as they have been left to fight alone for the release of the children without any iota of concern shown by the FRIN towards securing their release.
The parents also expressed their outrage over the way the 10 released students are left to cater for themselves without any care whatsoever, especially in terms of medical checkup from any arm of government, as against the claim for such care by government.
The parents of the 10 released students, who have vowed not to back on the struggle for the release of the remaining 29, have had to go in and out of hospital to take further care of their children’s health at their own personal costs.
This development is unacceptable as it shows abdication of responsibility by those in whose custody the students were before their abduction.
Knowing the struggle, the parents of the 10 students so far released are going through to keep their children in good health and sound mind, the parents of the students still in captivity, while awaiting the release of their own children, demand compensation from FRIN for the students already released and a similar demand will be made for those that will be released later for their proposed rehabilitation.
The parents in their position in a text signed by Usman Abdullahi informed the general public that there has been a change in the leadership of the Committee running the affair with effect from 28th April, 2021, as follows: Chairman – Usman Abdullahi Secretary – Catherine Y. Saleh