Parents of Afaka students apologise to Gumi, say he’s not linked to N800k ransom

Some parents of the kidnapped students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna state, have apologised to Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, over a “false accusation” against him. 

In March, bandits attacked the college located in Igabi LGA and abducted the students, but 172 of them were rescued, leaving 39 in captivity.

Out of the 39 in captivity, 10 have regained their freedom.

Speaking on Tuesday, during a protest at the national assembly for the release of their children, one of the parents alleged that Gumi directed them to a Fulani man named Ahmed, who collected N800,000 from them.

But in a statement on Wednesday, jointly signed by Abdullahi Usman and Catherine Saleh, chairman and secretary of the forum of affected parents, respectively, they said no ransom was paid through Gumi and that the earlier claim by one of them has no basis.

“We wish to state in no unclear terms that the claim has no basis in fact. Though the woman in the said video has a child in captivity, her claim is untrue. The woman is not a member of the committee representing the affected parents and did not speak on behalf of the parents,” they said.

“To be sure, the Forum of the Abducted Parents has never gathered money and given to Gumi or to someone through the revered Islamic scholar at anytime.

“We therefore dissociate ourselves from the statement. The committee considers the statement as unfortunate and an unnecessary distraction from its commitment to secure the release of their children who have now spent 56 days in captivity.

“For the record, the committee representing the Forum of Parents of the 39 Abducted Students visited the home of Sheikh Gumi to seek his intervention for the release of our children but he declined, on the grounds that as a law abiding citizen he would not want to go against the position of the state government which has forbidden anyone to negotiate with bandits.

“We apologise to the esteemed Sheikh for any personal injury the statement might have caused him. Again, we call on all to join their voices in calling on government at state and federal levels to work extra hard to ensure the safe release of our children so that they may be reunited with their families.”

Also, Gumi, who is known to have access to some of the bandits, told TheCable that the allegation is “nonsense” and that he is not aware of such transaction.

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