Parents of the 37 freed students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka Kaduna have raised the alarm their children have started exhibiting abnormal psychological behaviours.
The 39 students were abducted when bandits invaded their College close to Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) on the night of 11th March, 2021.
Two of the students escaped while they were being whisked into the forest, 10 were released in two batches of five each on 5th and 7th April respectively while the remaining 27 regained freedom on 5th May after spending 56 days in the kidnappers den.
Parents of the last 27 students, who raised alarm over their children’s state of psychological health Sunday evening, however demanded immediate compensation from the Federal Government to enable them treat the victims of trauma.
In a statement by its chairman, Abdullahi Usman, forum of the Afaka students’ parents said the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) under which is the College’s supervision never carried out any medical check on the freed students.
The statement reads: “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 parents of the students 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.
“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.
“We will go to every extent, using every legal instrument available to us, bona fide and law-abiding citizens of this country, to get what we believe our 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.”