Gender & SGBVNews

Sexual Molestation Claims Of Afaka Students Untrue, Say Parents

The parents of the released abducted students in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria, have denied media reports that their wards were subjected to sexual abuse while in captivity.

The parents of the 37 students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria, abducted by terrorists on March 11 and released on May 5, have denounced claims that the students were sexually molested by their abductors while in captivity.

Several online media outlets, quoting an anonymous parent of one of the released students, reportedly said the students, male and female, while in captivity, were sexually molested by their captors.

“While we were basking in the joy of having reunited with our precious children, who were released unharmed after 56 gruesome days in captivity, our attention was drawn to a May 11th 2021 error-ridden online publication (by Reuben Abati) and some online Media (including Daily Times) to the effect that an unidentified parent of one of the 27 students released on May 5th, speaking on the condition of anonymity, had disclosed that the students, both male and female, ‘were sexually, homosexually molested by the bandits while in captivity,’” the parents said in a press statement issued in Kaduna, Sunday, May 16.

“Other online media outlets also published the self-same report,” the parents said in the statement signed by Abdullahi Usman, Chairman of their union.

“On behalf of the parents of the Forum of the abducted 37 students (now released), we wish to set the records straight and hope that this will end the circulation of the fabrication which the story is,” they said.

“We state in unequivocal terms that none of the 37 kidnapped (now freed) Afaka students were sexually or homosexually molested by the bandits,” they said.

The parents explained: “In fact, by divine providence, according to the testimony of all the released students, one bandit lost his life on the mere mention of the desire to sexually molest a student.”

They continued: “The students confessed that ‘he didn’t even actually attempt it; he was just saying it, and yet he was killed and we were asked to take his corpse and deposit it in a nearby bush because they said he was not worthy of a proper burial.’”

They said as parents of the released students, their primary focus now was “the rehabilitation of our treasures whom God has brought back to us alive and miraculously unharmed.”

The parents maintained that smearing the students with the allegation of sexual and homosexual molestation by their abductors would “aggravate the trauma we and our released children are working hard to overcome.”

Initially, 39 students were abducted and two of them escaped from the abductors, before ten students were released in two batches of five, and subsequently, the remaining 27 rescued.

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