By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Forum of Parents of the Afaka Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna, have demanded for compensation for their wards, whom they said are undergoing severe trauma and need urgent rehabilitation.
They expressed this in a statement signed by Chairman of the Forum:Abdullahi Usman, made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Sunday.
“We wish to stress that consequent upon the foregoing, most of the children have not been living their normal lives since their release by the abductors. Yet, the Ministry and the Institute seem insensitive to their plight and indifferent to their trauma.
“Accordingly, we, parents of the released students, hereby categorically demand immediate compensation from the Ministry and the Institute to enable us treat them of their trauma.
“We are resolute in our resolve to bark and bite in our pursuit of compensation for our children, whose abduction was for no fault of their own, from whatever authority responsible for such compensation,” they said.
They recalled that on Wednesday, 5th May, 2021, the remaining 27 of the 39 abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna, were released by their abductors.
“It would be recalled that two of the 39 abducted students escaped soon after the abduction on the night of 11th March, 2021, while 10 were released in two batches of five each on 5th and 7th April respectively.
“The release of the 27 on 5th May, following unquantifiable efforts by their parents, who suffered excruciating hardships and trauma, resulting in the death of a parent, was greeted with global applause and cheers.
“The release of the students ignited hopes that they would immediately be made to go through the very necessary medical check up to ensure their soundness of health, especially to heal them of all terror-inflicted trauma that could negatively affect their normal living,” the forum said.
The parents of the students said that they had expected the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) to immediately set a process in motion for such necessary checkup and compensation to assuage all negative effects of terror they and the children severely suffered.
“However, one month (30 days) after the release of the entire students, most of whom have been exhibiting some abnormal psychological behaviours due to lack proper medical checkup and trauma counselling necessary for their rehabilitation, we the parents have received no inkling of hope from the Ministry or Institute for any compensation over the psychological damage inflicted on the children during their 56 day encounter with terror,” they explained.
The parents warned that they will go to every extent, using every legal instrument available to them as bonafide and law-abiding citizens of the country, to get what they believe their traumatised children deserve to facilitate their return to normal life.
“We now deem it legitimately and legally fit to demand what we believe should be given to us for the proper rehabilitation of our children,” they stressed.