Islamic cleric, Sheik Gumi has claimed that students of Greenfield University, Kaduna were kidnapped by Boko Haram and not bandits.
The students were abducted on April 18 by armed men who stormed the school and abducted 22 students and a teacher. Five of the students have been killed by the gunmen.
One of the abductors who granted an interview over the weekend with Hausa Service of the Voice of America, threatened that other students might be killed if the ransom for their release is not paid.
In an interview with AIT today, May 4, Sheik Gumi said Boko Haram members were behind the abduction. When asked by the reporter if he indeed mentioned that Boko Haram were behind the abduction, Sheik Gumi said
”Yes, really because when we tried to trace them and put some sense into them, the contact who is also a Normadic Fulani, they threatened him. They said if he insists on them they were going to catch him and he will have to pay ransom before he gets out.
“And the leader is from Jalingo. He is from Adamawa. He is not the local fulani we have here. So this means that North-Eastern element is coming into this area and we have to move fast. We don’t have that luxury of time.
“I have been trying to speak with government but nobody is really trying to listen to me or speak with me on this issue. We are trying to pacify and remove this banditry and they are responding.”
Reacting to the decision of the Kaduna state government not to negotiate with bandits, Sheik Gumi said;
”Five souls were killed. Why? What amount of money is too big for us to save the lives of those five students, what amount of money? secondly, we can give them the money to get the boys out of danger then go after our money. Nobody is saying you shouldn’t find them..you can get the two back.
“To say you will not negotiate with them and also not take action against them, I cannot understand that.”
Meanwhile, parents of the College of Forestry Mechanisation abducted students, Afaka in Kaduna State staged a protest at the National Assembly complex, Abuja, today, May 4, demanding the timely government intervention to rescue their wards.
The frustrated parents who were joined in the protest by members of the institution’s Students Union Government SUG, chanted solidarity songs and displayed placards to express their disappointment with the way the Nigerian government has handled the abduction of their children and colleagues. They accused the government of negligence.
Human rights activists, Omoyele Sowore and Deji Adeyanju, who joined in the protest also expressed disappointment with the handling of security by the government.
Five of the abducted students have been killed while 17 of them are still with the kidnappers who are threatening to kill them if the N100million ransom isn’t paid.