It will be recalled that 39 students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna State were kidnapped by bandits who invaded the school.
They demanded N500 million as ransom to affect their release.
Stallion Times reports that 10 of the students were released after their parents paid ransom.
The remaining 29 were released, 6 May, 2021.
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi Dialogue committee in collaboration with former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo facilitated the release.
Recently, the Peace Initiative of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi hosted the released students and their parents in an elaborate reception in Kaduna.
The event was organised to congratulate they students and give them hope.
Former President Obasanjo who could not make it to the occasion was represented by four strong delegation led by the Chief Imam of Abeokuta Mosque and a leading Pastor in Abeokuta.
Kaduna state CAN Chairman, Rev John Joseph Hayab was also represented by his Secretary, Rev Caleb Maji.
In attendance too were the Publisher/Chairman of Desert Herald, Mallam Tukur Mamu, Dr. Umar Ardo, Chief Imam of Sultan Bello Mosque, Dr. Muhammad Suleiman Adam, Gen. Abdulkadir and Col Sambo Diri, all active members of the Gumi/Obasanjo Initiative.
Also, present was an active stakeholder of the Gumi/Obasanjo Initiative and former Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf.
He delivered the vote of thanks at the occasion, but in the process, he was betrayed by his emotions; he cried.
Fielding questions from journalists shortly after the event as to why he had to cried when he was delivering the vote of thanks, the Prof. responded: “Two. First, to express my joy seeing that the students have been released.
“They were held for 56 days in the bush under rain, sun, mosquitoes, flies and other harsh condition, one even lost a two Months’ pregnancy in the bush, by God’s grace, today, they are free.”
Second. “Up till now, there are other students being held hostage; Greenfield University students, Leah Sharibu of Dapchi and the Chibok girls.
“There are still other hundreds of people in communities across the country being held hostage, so, there is more to do.
“It is important that all Nigerians should join this struggle.”
He described the unity in the initiative “this is a Mosque, but you see Islamic and Christian clerics present, it has not happened before…this is the Nigeria we grew up to know, not what we have now.
“We are calling on all Nigerians to join this initiative let us jointly proffer a lasting solution to the security challenges facing the country,” he added.
The event was covered live in Kaduna by Arise Television.