Parents of the kidnapped students from the Federal University Gusau (FUG) in Zamfara State are urgently appealing to the federal government to intervene and rescue their children. The parents are specifically urging the government to engage in negotiations with the bandits, similar to previous dealings with non-state actors during the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East. The plea comes in response to a recent threat by the bandits to harm some female students if their demands are not met,Daily Trust reports.
New information indicates that the bandits have chosen a new leader who currently holds the students and is threatening to harm them if certain conditions, including the release of detained bandit commanders, are not met. Despite ongoing behind-the-scenes dialogues involving security agencies, the situation remains critical. Messages from the abductors suggest a deadline for their demands to be met, and parents are growing increasingly concerned for the safety of their children.
The bandits’ demands include the release of their detained comrades, with one of them identified as Ibrahim, the elder brother of the late bandit leader Ali Kachalla. The death of Ali Kachalla has heightened tensions, leading to threats of violence against the abducted students.
In recorded WhatsApp messages, the bandits express frustration with the government’s approach and threaten to harm the students if their demands are not addressed promptly. Some parents are calling for a reconsideration of the government’s use of force and advocate for a dialogue and potential swap of prisoners, citing past instances where such approaches have been employed.
Concerns about the well-being of the students are growing, with reports suggesting that some may be in a weakened state due to malnutrition, dehydration, and other health issues. Parents and community members are appealing to the government to prioritize the safety of the students and explore all available options to secure their release.
Security agencies, including the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Department of State Services (DSS), assert that they are working diligently to ensure the safe release of the abducted students. The public is advised to remain vigilant, and efforts are underway to address the evolving crisis in the North West region.