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Kidnapped corpers abandoned for 4 months with terrorists: security has collapsed – CSO

Says Zamfara State governor is a failure

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Leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group: Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has pleaded with President Bola Tinubu to personally intervene and end the four months ordeals in the hands of daredevil terrorists of 8 corpers kidnapped in Zamfara State four months ago on their way to the camp.

HURIWA said it is unfortunate that youngsters who were on their way to answer the call of their fatherland to offer selfless national services to communities in the deep North West, would be violently abducted and ferried into the lawless but expansive Zamfara forests by kidnappers who are well armed with some of the most sophisticated military grade weapons of mass destruction and for four months, all the security agencies in a vast country like Nigeria have displayed crass lack of intelligence-guided capacities to rescue these youth corpers, arrest the culprits and bring them to justice.

“It is as if these youths who were going for the national services to Nigeria have simply been abandoned by the Nigerian state.

“This crude reality will inevitably shrink the passion amongst young Nigerians to render altruistic service to Nigeria since it is now evidently conspicuous that the kidnapped corpers are abandoned by government to their cruel fate,” it said.

HURIWA in a media statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, also expressed disappointment about the nonchalant disposition of the Zamfara State governor and his government towards putting measures into motion that could’ve led to the release by the terrorists of these 8 corpers who are from Akwa Ibom state.

HURIWA further wondered how Zamfara State has become a failed state to the extent that the residents pay protection taxes to terrorists and the moment anyone fauls to fulfill this unholy agreement with the terrorists, the terrorists seamlessly drive to the residence of the person who fails to pay them their taxes and kidnap them into the forest until such a time that their relatives pay to bail then out of the dungeons of kidnappers. Residents of Zamfara State have on many occasions, told us that they live at the mercy of kidnappers.”

HURIWA said it was worrisome that parents and family members of the prospective corps members from Akwa Ibom State, who were kidnapped on August 17, 2023 while travelling to orientation camp in Sokoto State are currently gripped with fear as the abductors demand that they pay N10 million each as ransom for the release of the victims.

HURIWA recalled that a section of the media has just disclosed that one of the victim’s family member, Mr. Mfon Friday, in Uyo said so far, a total sum of N30.8million ransom has been paid to the abductors.

HURIWA stated that Mr. Friday who spoke angrily over the untold hardship the parents were currently facing as a result of their children’s abduction, recalled that the parents had initially paid the sum of N13.6 million and towards end of last month (October), another sum of N17.2 million was also paid, yet those children were not released just as he lamented thus:“As we speak, our children are still in Zamfara bush, including the driver of AKTC and it is over 100 days when they were kidnapped. When they called on Monday, the kidnappers said parents should pay another N70 million.

The Rights group said the specific family member Mr. Friday had disclosed as follows:“Remember the first ransom the parents paid was over N13 million and it was paid collectively. But this time, they want the parents to pay N10 million each. Before end of October, N17 million was paid, making it about N30.8 million so far paid, yet they didn’t free those children.

They only released one of the girls. And Monday this week, when they contacted us, they demanded N10 million from each family.

HURIWA quoted Mr. Friday a family of the abducted corpers as lamenting how they will be able to raise that kind of money even as he regretted that the abductors failed to understand that those children are not from rich families.

The Rights group said that the kidnappers even threatened to leave the abducted corpers to die if the parents don’t pay the ransom very soon just as he expressed disappointment that the government, which includes the federal and state governments, have yet to transparently adopted concrete steps to save the lives of those young graduates.

HURIWA endorsed the position of one of the member of the families that these abducted corpers were abandoned by all levels of the Nigerian government because they are not children of Policemen, the Army and politicians that is why they have been allowed to remain in the kidnappers den till today.

HURIWA recalled that one of the victim’s sibling, who spoke to a section of the media in confidence after the affected families met in Uyo on Tuesday this week, disclosed that the abductors were paid the N17.2 million ransom before the released the female victims last month, who they gathered was seriously sick.

HURIWA expressed consternation that information reaching the family members of the abducted corpers shows that the remaining seven corpers have also fallen seriously sick and that is why the kidnappers are demanding this huge ransom and threatening that if the families don’t pay very soon, those abducted youth corpers going for their NYSC will die.

HURIWA which stated that the Zamfara State government and the Federal government do not appear to be working as a United front to restore security and stability, has pleaded with the president to intervene and ensure the release of these corpers just as the Rights group commended the NYSC for suspending the posting of corpers to Zamfara State as a result of the abduction, four months ago of the corpers.

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