El-Rufai’s Obstinacy and Fate of the Kidnapped Afaka39
By Abdulmumin Giwa
It appears up till now that there has not been much progress concerning the release of the 39 students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna kidnapped by gunmen over three weeks ago.
Initially the parents, students and staff of the Collage were refused audience by the state governor, Nasiru Elrufai but were later given audience in a close door meeting he had with them. This followed persistent pressure and condemnation by the public.
Unfortunately, the meeting was not as fruitful as expected because the governor only met with them to reiterate his stance of refusing to negotiate for the release of the students. They emerged from the meeting without any hope.
With the lack of will displayed by the Kaduna state government, the parents decided to be linked with the kidnappers to negotiate for the release of their children to which the kidnappers reportedly refused to accept. The kidnappers insist that they will only negotiate with the government on their own terms which if violated they will kill the students.
Yes, it is true that the kidnappers can kill the students because they don’t value human lives. They have records of attacking villages and killing the people and burning the village down, thereby turning the villagers into refugees, without asking for any ransom. This has happened severally across the northeast and the northwest lately.
So, if they can be as ruthless as that, what more of when they place ransom for the lives of their victims? Definitely it can never be seen as a joke.
Although one of Elrufai’s wives was reported by the media to have stated that her husband told her that even if she was the one kidnapped he would never pay ransom to free her, the public generally believe it is not true. If one of the students of the Afaka39 is to be the son or daughter of the governor, they would never have spent 48 hours in the den of kidnappers. But these innocent student are now over 21 days with their kidnappers in the bush under harsh conditions including torture, intimidation, lack of proper healthcare and hygiene or even food to eat. While the governor is busy promoting his personal whims at the expense of their lives.
What is clear about this scenario is that the kidnappers are clear with their demands that they are fighting with Elrufai for his comments against their interests. The students are only victims. But due to cowardice, the governor is hiding behind the kidnapped students to promote his own personal whims at the expense of their lives. He was supposed to have been bold enough to face the kidnappers head on and tell them to release the students and fight him. He should have told them that they are only cowards for kidnapping students or anyone else just to fight him instead of facing him head on.
But alas, the two cowards are both hiding behind the innocent students to achieve their personal whims and caprices not minding if the students become a collateral damage.
Who then will now save the lives of the innocent Afaka39 students?