Pay 100 Million Varsity Students’ Ransom Before It’s Too Late — Sheikh Gumi Warns FG, CBN

 

Sheik Ahmad Gumi, an Islamic scholar, urged the federal and state governments not to take the threat of kidnappers of students from Greenfield University in Kaduna lightly on Tuesday.

Gumi said in an interview with Punch Newspaper that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should pay the N100 million ransom requested by the students’ kidnappers.

He made the call as a parent of one of the abductees bemoaned the kidnappers’ demand for a N100 million ransom.

The father, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to one of our correspondents in Kaduna, bemoaned the fact that the bandits had not relented in their demands and had threatened to kill the students.

On April 20, 2021, 23 students and a member of the university staff were abducted from the campus. Five of the students were killed by the bandits a few days later.

In an interview with the Voice of America’s Hausa service on Monday, one of the bandits, Sani Jalingo, requested N100 million and ten motorcycles in exchange for the students’ release.

He threatened that if the Kaduna State Government or the students’ families did not meet the demands by Tuesday (yesterday), the abductees would be killed.

The parent, who spoke to The PUNCH’s Kaduna correspondent at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, urged the Federal Government to do everything possible to save the students.

He also appealed to businesses to assist in the rescue of the students.

He said the call became necessary as the bandits remained firm in their demand that the remaining students be killed unless their demands were met.

“The bandits are still demanding N100 million and ten bikes, with no individual negotiations,” he said.

We are pleading with the government to do everything possible to ensure the release of our children. Our kids have spent a lot of time in the woods.

At this time, we don’t know how they’re doing. We don’t know whether they’re being fed or how the bandits are treating them.

“All we can say now is that we need the current government, especially the Federal Government, and well-meaning Nigerians to come to our aid. We can’t afford the N100m and bikes that the bandits are demanding.

“We’re also appealing to corporations to use their corporate social responsibility to support us in rescuing our children from the clutches of the bandits.”

Gumi, who spoke on Tuesday during an African Independent Television, Kakaaki, program that was watched by one of our correspondents, said he needed the Federal Government’s help to save the students.

“As for the forestry students, we have been trying to see if we can get any of the herdsmen’s touch so that they can release these people,” he said when asked if he was aware of the kidnapping of Greenfield University and the Federal College of Forestry students.

“We’ve been doing our best as well, but we know we have limits, and there are several roadblocks in our path, but the parents have been always consulting with us.”

“The problem of the Greenfield students is a little bit more complex,” the cleric said of the university students.

“There are two distinct bands of robbers. There are ordinary Fulani ethnic herders and religious extremists, as well as terrorists. That is why we have been pleading with the government to assist us in entering and removing the children.

“The problem is being exacerbated by the addition of this element; Boko Haram is now on the scene. They were the ones who drew the attention of Greenfield students. It’s not a matter of getting some shut-eye. “You must act quickly.”

Gumi, speaking on the phone with one of our correspondents, expressed disappointment that his efforts, which had been fruitful, had gone unnoticed by the government.

“The money they’re asking for is too much; if I give it to you, you can’t run away with it,” he said. Nobody is able to flee. So, why don’t we give them the money, they release the boys, and then we go after them and get our money back and do what we need to do? It’s just common sense. So, go to the central bank and get some cash. How will they be able to transfer the money? We must not be naive.

“These people are being infiltrated; Boko Haram is closing in on them, and they have little regard for the clergy. I need help to inoculate them against the invasion of these philosophies, whether it’s Boko Haram or Ansaru or whatever. Since they are naive, we must protect them. It will consume everybody if there is too much strain on them, and they see support from Boko Haram, who are wealthier and have more weapons.”

Haruna Danjuma, the National President of the Parents Teacher Association, urged the bandits to spare the lives of the innocent students in an interview with journalists on Tuesday.

Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, the National President of the Foundation for the Protection of Women and Children, also appealed to the kidnappers not to kill any students during Ramadan.

The two organizations made the appeal when one of Greenfield University’s abducted students was released.

The student was reportedly released on Saturday before the bandits made new demands on Monday.

Lauretta Attahiru, the mother of the released student, announced the news to journalists on Tuesday.

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