By Christiana Ekpa
The Parents of the abducted students of the College of Forestry Mechanization Afaka in Kaduna State who protested at the National Assembly complex, Abuja for lawmakers to intervene in the plights of their Children held in captivity were denied entry into the complex by security agents.
It will be recall that 39 students of federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna were kidnapped on the 11 March, 2021. 10 have been released and 29 others still held captive by their captors.
The protesting parents who were joined by members of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the institution as well as civil society organizations, urged the lawmakers to intervene in the continuing captivity of their wards who were abducted by unknown gunmen on the 11 March 2021.
Their grievance was the negligence of the state and Federal Governments in securing the release of their children, the protesters blocked the entrance to the Federal Secretariat axis of the complex as they were not allowed entry through the one kilometer drive way leading to the main gate of the National Assembly.
“You can recall that 39 students of federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna were kidnapped on the 11 March, 2021. 10 have been released and 29 others still held captive by their captors. Today, we the parents and student Union Government of the institution decided to take our protest to the representatives of the people asking for the immediate release of the remaining students and other students who are still held by kidnappers across the country”.
“Education is our right! Safety is our right! Freedom is our right!, Free Afaka 29! ” they chanted.
It would be recalled that on the 11th of March, 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization Afaka in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State were kidnapped from their hostels by bandits dressed in military uniform.
The protesters carried placard and chanted songs of solidarity for the immediate rescue of the students with the inscriptions: “Release our our children”. “Bring back our children, till everyone is free, no one is free”.
A parent of one of the kidnapped students who spoke to Peoples Daily Madam Rabbi Zacharia Maggaji said, “Please please please (crying) help me beg the National Assembly to talk to the security so that they can release my son. Please, I want to talk to my son, he is the only person I have. It is me that have been training him. I don’t have have any husband. I want to see my son, let the government help me”.
Meanwhile, addressing the peaceful protesters, Mr. Bella Mohammed, the Deputy Clerk of National Assembly who represented the Clerk of the National Assembly assured the protesters that he would pass their message to the Speaker of House of Representatives and the President of the Senate.
“I’m not the right person to address you because I’m not a politician but I am a civil servant but on behalf of my boss, the Clerk of the National Assembly, I welcome you all to the National Assembly. You are indeed in the right place. I will convey your message to the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila who are in the best position to address your concerns.
“I understand your pains but I appeal to you all to calm down”.