Kaduna’s government doesn’t negotiate directly or indirectly with bandits and kidnappers; it, however, can ride out the stand-off between the government and the criminals until miracle happens or something else gives.
That seems the case in the unexplainable deliverance of five out of the 35 students bandits snatched from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization Mando in Igabi weeks ago.
In the presser that followed the release of the students, the state government has been silent on what led to the release of the five.
Samuel Aruwan, commissioner for internal security and home affairs, who issued the statement didn’t state a military intervention helped, either.
It just happened.
“The Nigerian military has informed the Kaduna State Government that five of the many kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna, were recovered this afternoon,” he said.
The student’s account of their release while 30 others was also silent on the intervention, but it revealed, subtly, the undercurrent.
Francis Paul, a 200 level undergraduate of Agricultural Technology of the college, narrated a bit of it, starting from Thursday night, March 11, 2021, when the bandits carted them away.
“After they asked us to lay down on the ground, they took us through where they broke the fence with digger outside the school.
“It was when they took us through the fence out of the hostel that we saw many of them outside with bikes. It was from there that they took us from one place to another.”
On the viral video released by the bandits, who were flogging the victims to make Gov Nasir El Rufai respond to their N500million demand, Paul said, it was really true.
The gambit, however, failed. The governor was not moved. Until Monday 5 when Paul and four others were handpicked for release in a manner that provoked curiosity.
“We were just on the roll in the afternoon. Some of them just came and started selecting us and by that time, I was very ill and they asked me to sit up and that I should get up and then selected other female students. They put us on the bike and dropped us in a nearby village close to the main road. They told us that when we get to the main road we should ask of a particular village.”
Then the soldiers just found them.
Whatever happened to ensure the release of the five, the state government can’t take credit. The parents aren’t even ready to thank the government—the government they already regarded as ‘callous’ for its unbending stand on negotiating
The parents are all for negotiation in their desperation to free their children.