- Gentlemen of the Press, ladies and gentlemen, we called for this press conference as parents of the 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation Afaka Kaduna who were abducted on 11th March, 2021 in their hostels.
- Today makes it 25 dreary and excruciatingly difficult days since our children have been in captivity. We have not received any words of empathy or assurance from Government nor have we seen any action to inspire confidence that something is being done to secure the safe release of our children.
- For the record, the Governor of Kaduna State has never addressed the parents of these students from the first day of the incident until now. They have shown no concern about the trauma the parents have been enduring.
- After we organised a peaceful protest during which we addressed a press conference on 22nd March, 2021, we got audience with a Government official where they stated categorically that the Kaduna State Government will not negotiate with the bandits for the release of the students. We were clear that as parents, we cannot sit on our hands and do nothing and that we would do everything within our capacity to ensure the safe release of our children. It was on that note that we left the meeting.
- We wish to reiterate that we will do everything within our power, everything humanly possible, with the help of God, to ensure that our children do not perish.
- Let us be clear, it is first and foremost due to the failure of government to live up to its primary responsibility of securing life and property that we have this ugly development in our hands. For government to not do everything to secure the release of the students 25 days after their abduction, and for government to keep the parents in the dark as to what it is doing, if any at all, smacks of gross insensitivity.
- We observe with disappointment that in the Easter message by the Governor, there was no mention whatsoever of the students or any assurance of what government is doing to ensure their release. For us it was a confirmation of our fear that the government has abandoned our children.
We can never abandon our children and we will do whatever we can to see that we get them back.
- Furthermore, we read in the media the statement credited to the Commissioner of Internal Security, Mr Samuel Aruwan, to the end that anyone who negotiates the release of the students will be prosecuted. For us the statement is unfortunate and another demonstration of callousness on the part of the government. We have been beaten, and we are now forced not to cry. We are the parents of these children and if their lives mean nothing to the government, they mean everything to us.
- Recall that the father of one of the abducted parents, Mallam Ibrahim Shamaki, passed on due to shock upon receiving the news of the kidnap of his daughter and her continued stay in captivity. Many parents have come down with high blood pressure as well. May the soul of Mallam Ibrahim Shamaki rest in peace and we pray for quick recovery of those who are ill on account of this development. We do not want to lose more parents, and since government has shown us no empathy nor communicated to us on the fate of our children, we will not resign to fate by doing nothing. We will continue to do our best until we have our children back.
- Therefore, we are not intimidated by the threat of prosecution. We call on all Nigerians and the international Community to support us in our efforts for the safe return to us of our children soonest.
Signed: Sam Kambai
Comrade Sanni Friday