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60hrs after, Kuriga students yet to reunite with families

Some of the parents who spoke to our reporter Tuesday expressed their eagerness to meet their children and welcome them back to the village. 

Sixty hours after the rescue of children abducted from Kuriga Primary and Junior Secondary School in Kaduna State, parents are yet to reunite with their children, Daily Trust reports. 

Some of the parents who spoke to our reporter Tuesday expressed their eagerness to meet their children and welcome them back to the village. 

With few exceptions, it has become a trend by authorities to delay releasing rescued children to their parents, a development that is agitating the minds of stakeholders. 

It could be recalled that the children were abducted on March 7, 2024, after bandits invaded their school located in Kuriga village of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. 

The school children were reportedly rescued on Sunday, March 24, precisely after 16 days in captivity. 

The military handed over the 131 rescued children to Kaduna State governor, Senator Uba Sani, on Monday and said six of the students who were hospitalised would be handed over to the state as soon as the doctors certified them fit. 

Since the announcement of their return, parents of the freed school children have been eager to receive them back home in the village. 

One of the fathers, Adamu Abdulrauf Kuriga, whose daughter, Hadiza, was among the abducted children, said he couldn’t wait to receive his daughter after almost two weeks without seeing her. 

“We are still waiting to receive the children because we haven’t seen them since they were abducted. Even though we know they are with the government, we will want to have them back home with us. This is the joy of every parent to see his child,” he said. 

He prayed that such an unfortunate incident never happens to any parent in the state and the country in general. 

He commended the security agencies and the state government for their role towards rescuing the children but still hoped the children would be reunited with them soonest. 

A mother, Khadiza, whose daughter, Safiya, was among the rescued students, also said she can’t wait to see her daughter in good spirits. 

“We are happy the children were rescued and are with the government. But as a mother, I want to see my daughter because we can’t wait to see the children back home with us,” she said. 

Another mother who identified herself as Binta, said her son, Suleiman, was among the rescued students but said she had not seen him yet. 

She explained that she was very excited to see him and the other children back home. 

“The government did well by rescuing the children but we want to see them because as parents, seeing the children will make us happy,” she said.


I was in Kaduna to bring them back – Community leader 

Jibril Gwadabe Kuriga, a community leader in the village, whose daughter, Aisha was among those rescued, said he was at the Government House on Sunday to receive the children but had to leave because the children were not brought to the venue that day. 

He said like any parent whose daughter or son was abducted, he could not wait to see his daughter. 

“We hope to see them because that was why I was at the Government House on Sunday to see the children but unfortunately, they were not brought there at the time. But we are still waiting to receive them,” he said. 

Daily Trust gathered that all the rescued school children are under the care of the Kaduna State Ministry of Human and Social Services, and are being protected in a facility in the state manned by security agencies. 

Aminu Kuriga, a resident, told Daily Trust that the community was calm knowing fully well that the children are in good hands of the state government.

“The community is now calm unlike the very first day the children were abducted. Now, most parents are fully aware of where the children are after their release from the forest. So, they are happy that they are in the hands of the state government,” he said.


‘Why we had conflicting figures’ 

On the conflicting figure following the earlier report that 287 students were kidnapped, Aminu said the community had discovered that there were double names submitted to the government the day the incident happened. 

“There was pressure from the authorities on the very day the incident happened that the community should compile names of the students. So, some parents ended up giving double names on different lists on the day but on Monday, after the security rescued 138 plus the late teacher, we later went back and issued another form to parents and we got the exact number 137 of the children abducted,” he said.

According to him, the late teacher, Abubakar Isah, who died in captivity left behind a wife and children. 

When contacted, Mohammad Lawal Shehu, Chief Press Secretary to the state governor said the rescued children would be reunited with their families soon. 

“They are still undergoing psychotherapy. They will be reunited with their parents after the evaluation, Insha Allah” he said.


‘Bandits’ kingpin Yellow Janbros behind abduction’ 

At least three credible sources confirmed to Daily Trust that a bandit kingpin, known as Yellow Janbros, was behind the heinous abduction of the Kuriga school children. 

Janbros had been fingered in many heinous crimes occasioned by killings and abductions in many communities in the North West. He was also severally reported to have been killed either by troops or during rival clashes, but only to be associated with other crimes. 

One of the sources said, “I can assure that Janbros was behind the abduction and it was simply to embarrass the government. 

“The bandits know that they have pauperised the villagers, they have taken away their animals and chased them away from their farms. They know the villagers don’t have anything to sell and pay for ransom,” he said.

Another source said Janbros and his foot soldiers took days shepherding the children through the bushes in order to evade arrest. 

“As stated by the military, they took them to Zamfara State where they were finally released. The story of how they were brought back intact, and without firing any shot, is a story of another day,” the source said.

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