In the footage, which has been widely shared on Facebook, some students appeared visibly distressed. In one video, a kidnapped student calls on the government to cooperate with his inmates, while a figure in the background indicates a gun to his head and back.
According to Kaduna police, the students were abducted Thursday night after attacking the Federal College of Forestry Mechanism in Mando, Kaduna.
Students who were evacuated from their hostels – some of them taken to their nightclubs – could be seen in the video asking the government to be diplomatic in their engagement with the gunmen.
A student calling for cooperation, his last name is Emmanuel, also says that a powerful rescue operation will be completed with serious consequences from the criminal gang. He said that “many of us have been injured – badly injured … the passage of time … most of us here have health issues.”
It was not immediately clear whether the heavily armed kidnappers, who were dressed in military exhaustion, made any request for a ransom.
Muhammad Jalge, a police spokesman in Kaduna, told CNN on Sunday that the force was not aware of any monetary demands made by the attackers.
“We are not aware of this. Regardless of what they are going to request, it will be through the school management,” confirming the authenticity of the video, Jalaji said.
“The video is very authentic. The bandits used one of the abducted victims to record the video,” he said.
Jalwa said that giving ransom was not an option.
“No one is ready to consider it. Countering the bandits and getting the students out is what we want to do,” he said.
The Federal College of Forestry and Mechanization is an institution of higher education located in Afka, a forest community near the Nigeria Defense Academy military barracks. College students, aged between 19 and 25, specialize in agricultural studies.
Kaduna State Internal Security and Home Affairs Commissioner Samuel Aruvan said in a statement on Friday that 180 students were rescued by soldiers who “involved armed bandits.”
“The soldiers rescued 180 civilians, 42 female students, eight staff and 130 male students … a mixture of about 30 students, men and women, has not yet been accounted for,” the statement read. is.
Jalwa told CNN on Sunday morning that 39 students were still being apprehended by the bandits and a rescue team was working to release the students without any casualties.
“We have come up with a joint operation with other sister security agencies for the purpose of rescuing the kidnapped victims,” the police spokesperson said.
A student leader, who heads an organization of agricultural students at the college, Daniel Atepe told CNN that he identified almost all of them in a viral video and identified a captive.
“I really know everyone in that video,” said Atep, who also rejected the police’s claim that the kidnappers had used one of the victims to plead for help.
Atepe said that no security measures have been taken by the school management to ensure the safety of the students in the hostels, where most of the students live before the attack.
Another student Zainab Omar told CNN that his roommate was also seen in the video
A colleague of President Muhammadu Buhari issued a statement on Saturday, praising the “Army’s initial response, rescuing 180 students, including eight staff members,” and demanding the safe release of the other students.
Buhari said that his government would not allow “school systems to be destroyed” by the bandits who targeted the schools.
Kidnapping pervades northern Nigeria
More than 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped from a school in Zamfara State in northwestern Nigeria earlier this month.
At least 42 people were kidnapped and later released from a state school in Kagara, Niger State, last month, and more than 300 schoolchildren were taken and later freed in December. went.
Kidnapping for ransom is widespread in parts of Nigeria and poses a major security challenge. State governors regularly provide ransom for the protection of victims but rarely accept to do so.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently asked state governors to “review their policy of robberies rewarded with money and vehicles,” the policy says “could backfire from potentially disastrous consequences.” Buhari also urged the governors to work hard to secure their schools.