Francis Paul, a 200 level undergraduate of Agricultural Technology of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization Mando in Igabi Local Government Area, Kaduna State, is glad to be home after spending over three weeks in kidnappers’ den alongside 38 other students of the school.
The 39 were abducted on Thursday night, March 11, 2021, when the bandits in large numbers invaded the school located opposite the Nigerian Defence Academy along the Kaduna International Airport road.
Five of the students were later rescued by the army, among them is Paul who confirmed to newsmen the authenticity of a viral video released by the bandits on Saturday – after their abduction. The video had shown the students in their night wears.
The freed student spoke when the Kaduna State Government on Thursday handed over five out of the 39 abducted students to their parents.
According to Paul, the bandits said when the students were being flogged, the governor will be moved to come and pay the N500m ransom demanded.
But when asked whether the bandits molested (raped) their female counterparts sexually, he said “no”.
He also recalled the day they were abducted, noting that the bandits took them from one forest to another.
On feeding, he said, food which they don’t know what it was made up of were being rationed to them.
He said, “I feel a bit better. It’s just the medication after the release but I am now better. I am one of the students abducted by bandits on March 11, 2021.
“It was on the 11th of March that we were taken from the hostel. The bandits came and woke us from our sleep and took us out of the compound. They told us to lay on the ground.
“After they asked us to lay down on the ground, they took us through where they broke the fence with digger outside the school.
“It was when they took us through the fence out of the hostel that we saw many of them outside with bikes. It was from there that they took us from one place to another.”
On the viral video released by the bandits, Paul said, “It was really true. They were flogging us just because they wanted us to talk about the money they want from the government. They said if they see that they are flogging us the government will be serious to send the money to them. No one was raped.”
On how the five were released, he added, “We were just on the roll in the afternoon, some of them (bandits) just came and started selecting us and by that time, I am very ill and they asked me to sit up and that I should get up and then selected other female students. They put us on the bike and dropped us on a nearby village close to the main road and told us that when we get to the main road we should ask of a particular village.”
He expressed delight that he was among the five released from the kidnappers’ den but noted that whenever he thinks of his other 34 remaining colleagues, he felt sad.
“I feel happy that I am released but whenever I think about my colleagues, I don’t really feel happy because being there is no fun, being there is not nice.
“We are just praying to God that God should just release us from that place because those people don’t really know God. They don’t treat us like people who know God,” he said.
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