ISLAMIC cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has been named as the go-between who helped parents of the recently-abducted students from Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna State after it emerged that he was the one revealing there the kidnappers could be found.
On March 11, 2021, 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, were kidnapped by armed bandits. According to one of the parents of the abducted students, in an effort to secure the release of their children, she and other parents met with controversial Islamic scholar, Ahmad Gumi, who directed them to a Fulani man named Ahmed.
After the introduction, the parents then paid N800,000 ($2,000) to Ahmed and as a result of the payments, 10 out of the of the 39 abducted students have so far been released. yesterday, the parents of the remaining 29 students protested at the National Assembly, calling on the federal government to help them secure the release of their children.
According to the parent: “We kept going for meetings and they took us to Gumi’s house who said we should meet one Ahmed. I’ve forgotten the name but a Fulani man was invited and we contributed almost N800,000 to him but he said the money was just for transportation.
“Then I started crying and pleaded with him that I am a widow, training my boy to become my helper in the future but he said that was not his concern. We kept begging him but he insisted that we must pay N500m.”
Another added: “The trauma is too much, I can hardly sleep. We are walking corpses. People see us as being alive but we are already dead. In the night, one cannot sleep, if you want to sleep you will be thinking about the condition of your child, if the child is dead, alive or eaten.
“They were after the government paying that money – N500m. They kept calling me to say madam, go and talk to the government to pay the money and all I kept telling them was that I am a widow, I don’t have access to the government.
“Maybe if my husband were to be alive, he would know somebody who would help him to talk to the government. They kept calling me for almost two weeks and I told them the same thing.”
Kaduna State has been a hotbed of kidnappers of late as the criminals target schools. No fewer than 23 students and a member of staff of Greenfield University, Kaduna were also abducted from the school on April 20 and a few days later, five of the students were killed by the bandits.
Although the bandits have demanded a N100m ransom, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has kicked against it, threatening to arrest any parent who pays the ransom to the bandits.