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29 abducted Kaduna students regain freedom

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… Reps ask FG to postpone 2021 census

THE remaining 29 students of Kaduna State College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, in Igabi Local Government Area that were recently kidnapped regained their freedom, yesterday.

  Chairman of the forum of parents of the abducted students, Abdullahi Usman, confirmed their release in a telephone interview.

  According to him, they were released at a village in Giwa Local Government Area at about mid-day, though he could not confirm whether the N500 million demanded by the bandits as ransom for the students’ release was paid or not.

  “Yes, they have been released. They are on their way from the forest where they have been kept for the past (over) 50 days. But we’ve not been told if any amount was paid to the bandits as our children’s ransom,” he said.

  It will be recalled that on March 11, 2021, bandits invaded the school located in Afaka, along the Kaduna International Airport Road and abducted 39 students.10 of the 39 abducted students were earlier released by their abductors in two batches of five each.

But parents and students of the institution had on Tuesday, sought the intervention of National Assembly on the debacle.

  Meanwhile, House of Representatives has advised the federal government to postpone the 2021 population and housing census being planned by National Population Commission.

  The House passed the resolution following a motion by a member, representing Bosso-Paikoro Federal Constituency of Niger State, Shehu Beji.

  Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila gave the advice while saying the exercise should be suspended until the country is safe enough.

  “Leading the debate on the motion, the lawmaker told the House that several factors would work against the accuracy of the figures that would be obtained and the overall success of the exercise due largely to insecurity. For instance, Beji said, the safety of enumerators would not be guaranteed in many parts of the country. He also stated that many households would be unwilling to make family members available for enumeration because of the fear of the unknown.

He added that it would be unwise in the prevailing circumstances to post enumerators to some parts of the country currently considered to be volatile. Beji argued that the fact that many locations would not be reached by enumerators was enough a reason to suspend the planned exercise.

The key prayer of his motion urged the House to call on the @NigeriaGov to suspend the exercise until the security of the country stabilises. The prayer was endorsed by the House in a majority voice vote. The House also invited the Chairman of the NPC, Nasir Isa Kwarra, to explain the feasibility of conducting a population and housing census in the country amid the current security challenges,” the statement reads in part.

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