Parents of kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, collectively paid the sum of N800, 000 to a Fulani man identified simply as Ahmed who was introduced to them by Sheik Ahmad Gumi.
One of the parents, who spoke in an interview with Roots TV, said the money was meant to facilitate the release of their children who had been in the kidnappers’ den since March 11 when they were whisked away from their hostel.
Out of the 39 students, 10 had been released while 29 are still in captivity.
Yesterday, the parents protested at the national assembly, calling on the federal government to help them secure the release of their children.
One of the parents who narrated their encounter with Gumi said: “We kept going for meetings. They took us to Gumi’s house who said we should meet one Ahmed. I’ve forgotten the name. A Fulani man was invited, 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.”
She said the unidentified Fulani man was invited to an office in Kaduna to meet the parents.
“We kept begging him but he insisted that we must pay N500 million.”
Another parent corroborated their meeting with Gumi saying: “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, eaten.
“They (kidnappers) were after the government paying that money– N500 million. Like me in particular, they kept calling me ‘Madam, go and talk to the government to pay the money’. 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.”
“They took us to #Gumi‘s house; he directed us to Ahmed, who invited a Fulani man from #Kaduna, we contributed N800, 000 for him, he told us that was just for transport. I cried and pled with him, saying I’m a widow. He said it wasn’t his concern”
Meanwhile, the chief executive officer of CEO IPI Solutions and former presidential aspirant in the 2019 election, Mr. Adamu Garba, has charged Gumi to declare whether he is with bandits and terrorists or with the Nigerian people.
He gave the charge following Gumi’s advice to the federal government to get N100 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria which will be used to secure the release of the students of Greenfield University, Kaduna who were abducted by brigands.
One Twitter user, @Yemi_News247, drew the attention of Garba to Gumi’s recent activities, as he wondered why the cleric has not picked apprehended the Department of State Services (DSS).
He tweeted, “@adamugarba what do you have to say about Sheik Gumi recent activities? He is gradually becoming the financial secretary to the bandits/minister for banditry and ransom payments. It’s a shame that DSS has been compromised. I weep for my country.”
In response, Garba said, “I think Sheikh Gumi would have to explain in clear times whether he is together with the bandits/terrorists or with the Nigerian people.”
With Punch reports