According to a report by The PUNCH, the Government of Kaduna State has, on Thursday, handed over the five out of the 39 abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Mando in Igabi Local Government Area of the state released by bandits to their parents.
On Thursday night, March 11, 2021, the bandits in large numbers invaded the school located opposite the Nigerian Defence Academy along the Kaduna International Airport road and abducted 39 students.
Some of the students were in a viral video released by the bandits on Saturday after their abduction, in their night wears.
While handing over the five students to their parents are the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said the five released students had been medically certified to be physically and mentally stable, having undergone thorough medical check up at military facility in the state.
Aruwan said the government has also directed the State Emergency Agency and the Ministry of Human Development and Social Welfare to provide direct support for the released students.
The Commissioner gave the names of the five students who regain their freedom as Abubakar Yakubu, Francis Paul, Obadiya Habakkuk, Amina Yusuf and Maryam Danladi.
He noted that the state was pained by the plight of the abducted students and won’t rest on its oars until the remaining students were released.
The commissioner said, “the following students are being handed over to their parents; Francis Paul, Maryam Danladi, Abubakar Yakubu, Amina Yusuf and Obadiah Habakkuk
“These students have undergone thorough medical checks and preliminary psychological evaluation at a Military facility, and have been certified physically and mentally stable. However, there is of course the need for post-trauma evaluation.
“It is in that light, that the Kaduna State Government is handing them over to their parents.
“Upon their retrieval, the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, immediately directed the State Emergency Management Agency and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development to offer direct support with the management of the students.
“Food, clothing and other immediate essentials were provided to the students, and they were housed at a shelter for debriefing.
“The Kaduna State Government’s empathy with the families and loved ones of all the hostages is as important and deep rooted as its obligation not to provide incentives for criminality.
“The Kaduna State Government shares deeply in the pain and distress experienced by the parents and families of all the hostages in this difficult time. As such, the Government will continue to work towards the safe return of the students in captivity.
“The Governor has emphasised that the government, parents, students, the school management and all Nigerians have one common goal, and that is having all the students, and indeed all those in captivity back home, and to work hard towards overcoming this common asymmetric threat. By the grace of God, we will succeed.
“I also wish to appeal to the parents of the remaining students to stay strong. Government and security agencies are working patiently and consistently to secure the release of the students and all abducted persons.
“It is on this note that we officially hand over the students to their parents,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the other parents, one of the parents of the released students, Mr. Caleb Waziri, expressed gratitude to God that their children were released by the bandits while hoping and praying that the remaining 34 students would regain their freedom soon.
On her part, the state Commissioner, Ministry of Human Services and Social Development, Hafsat Muhammad-Baba, who expressed delight over the release of the five students, said state would take them(students) into custody for pycho-social support and counselling for now.
He added that the released students would be adequately catered for by the state, adding that to state would keep them because of stigmatization from the community.
She said, “we are taking them to our shelter because we have shelter specifically for women where they are going to get a pycho-social support and counselling where they will have privacy.
“There are foods there; there is also recreational facilities there – television to watch so that they can take their hearts off the trauma they had been through.
“We believe that giving that privacy will also help to normalise them and bring them back to their senses once more. By the time they get out of our shelter, they can stay as long as they want. We don’t have any problem with that. If they want to stay a month or until they fully recuperate, there is no problem.
“They will be adequately taken care of by the government of Kaduna State so that by the time they come out, they will be their normal selves. We will also want to keep them there because of stigmatization within the community.”