The pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina, released at the weekend are now confronted with various health, psychological and eating habit challenges.
Some of the parents who spoke to LEADERSHIP yesterday said the children who spent 89 days in captivity after their abduction on 30th May are behaving strangely and eating less. Some of them showed signs of lack of blood.
The parents said the situation has increased their concerns and confirmed their fears compounded by the health challenges as shown by some of them inability to walk because of swollen feet and bodies.
They said after staying with the bandits’ before they were released last Friday night, the children were psychologically traumatized beyond imagination.
A parent, Hadiza Isah, said her daughter could stay for one hour without talking to anybody even if she is pressed to talk.
“It is strange to me it is as if I don’t know my daughter again, I don’t know where to start from. I think the children need help. We are currently worried about their mental and physical state. Most of them can stay up to one hour without talking to anybody” she said.
Also, Malam Idris Musa, whose five children were abducted and one died said the trauma of his children was more and the there are signs of health problems.
He said, “It is obvious they behave strangely, they are more of social recluse especially, when they were in the bandits’ camp watching their brother, Ayatu, dying without help.”
Another parent, Rabi Abubakar, said “my only son is truly traumatized, physically and psychologically, he has swollen feet and body, he easily gets agitated and emotional.”
The head teacher of the Islamiyya Alhassan Garba Abubakar confirmed to LEADERSHIP that he had received different types of traumatized stories from the parents, ranging from swollen feet, body, lack of blood , and inability of the children to express themselves well.
He said as a teacher with close understanding of child growth, he could picture the psycho-social adverse effects of the children staying with gun wading bandits for almost three months which he said explained why some of them could stay one hour without talking.
Abubakar said, “The children might have been cultured into harsh treatment of the bandits who always instructed them to keep quiet and at the formative ages between 4 to 15 years the pupils are, you should expect this”
Abubakar said the school had contacted some medical and counselling experts who would visit Tegina to conduct a thorough check on the children.
Meanwhile, the wife of the Niger State governor and founder Raise Foundation, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello, has expressed concern over the condition in which the children had been treated with the bandits describing it as inhuman.
She prayed that the children will be courageous enough to embrace and get their normal life back and continue their studies.