Parents of the 37 kidnapped students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, have said their children are exhibiting abnormal psychological behaviours since regaining freedom a month ago.
The affected parents, therefore, demanded compensation from the Federal Government to enable them to treat their children for trauma.
WUZUPNIGERIA reported that bandits had raided the college on 11 March 2021, kidnapping 39 students and whisking them into the forest. Two of the students later escaped while the remaining 37 were released in three batches on April 5, April 7, and May 5 respectively.
Parents of the 27 students released on May 5, in a statement at the weekend, threatened to “go to every extent, using every legal instrument available to us, bona fide and law-abiding citizens of this country, to get what we believe our children deserve to facilitate their return to normal life.”
In the statement released by Abdullahi Usman, who is the Chairman of the Afaka students’ Parents Forum, alleged that the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), which supervises the college, did not carry out medical checks and psychological evaluation on the freed students before releasing them to their parents.
“The release of the students ignited hopes that they would immediately be made to go through the very necessary medical check-up to ensure their soundness of health, especially to heal them of all terror-inflicted trauma that could negatively affect their normal living,” the statement read.
“The parents of the students had expected the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) to immediately set a process in motion for such necessary checkup and compensation to assuage all negative effects of terror they and the children severely suffered.
“However, one month (30 days) after the release of the entire students, most of whom have been exhibiting some abnormal psychological behaviours due to lack proper medical checkup and trauma counselling necessary for their rehabilitation.
“We the parents have received no inkling of hope from the Ministry or Institute for any compensation over the psychological damage inflicted on the children during their 56-day encounter with terror.
“We wish to stress that consequent upon the foregoing, most of the children have not been living their normal lives since their release by the abductors. Yet, the Ministry and the Institute seem insensitive to their plight and indifferent to their trauma.
“Accordingly, we, parents of the released students, hereby categorically demand immediate compensation from the Ministry and the Institute to enable us to treat them of their trauma.
“We are resolute in our resolve to bark and bite in our pursuit of compensation for our children, whose abduction was for no fault of their own, from whatever authority responsible for such compensation.
“We will go to every extent, using every legal instrument available to us, bona fide and law-abiding citizens of this country, to get what we believe our children deserve to facilitate their return to normal life.
“We now deem it legitimately and legally fit to demand what we believe should be given to us for the proper rehabilitation of our children.”
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