14 Abducted Greenfield University Students, Staff Released
Chimezie Enyiocha, Kaduna
Some 14 abducted students and staff of Greenfield University in Kaduna State have been released, Channels Television can report.
They were released on Saturday afternoon at a location along the Kaduna- Abuja highway.
The Chairman of the Parents Forum, Markus Zarmai and few others were expected to receive the students at the drop-off location.
The parents of the abducted students said that they paid ransom, in addition to providing eight new motorcycles to the kidnappers before they agreed to release their children.
The students were abducted by bandits from their hostels on April 20.
On April 23, the remains of three of the abducted students were found in Kwanan Bature village, a location close to the university.
The Kaduna Government reported on April 26 that the kidnappers had killed an additional two students.
At a meeting held in Kaduna in April, parents of the students appealed to the government and public to help with the N800 million ransom demand from the kidnappers.
The Kaduna State Government and the Federal Government have discouraged ransom payments to bandits.
In a statement on May 5, President Muhammadu Buhari appealed for “the release of the students of the Greenfield University.”
Parents, Police Face-Off
The students release comes 40 days after they were abducted.
An altercation ensued between parents and the police near Olams farms where the rescued students were kept after their release..
As the police attempted to take the students to their office, the angry parents resisted, and blocked the bus conveying the students before insisting on taking their children home without any police escort.
The angry parents argued that having paid over N150 million ransom and bought eight motorcycles for the bandits to secure the release of their children, there was no reason why the security agencies would take custody of them.
El-Rufai welcomes release
The Kaduna State Government has reacted to the release.
According to a statement signed by the State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the hostages were found released along the Kaduna-Abuja road at about 2:00PM on Saturday.
The released hostages comprised of students and staff of Greenfield University, the statement said.
“It would be recalled that they were abducted by armed bandits in April and had been in captivity since then. Five students were gruesomely killed by the bandits in the period,” the statement said.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai welcomed the news of the students’ release, and conveyed solace and encouragement to them following their harrowing ordeal.
“He assured them that the bitterness of the last few weeks, now over, would set the backdrop for positive achievements in their lives, as he wished them well for the future.”