Gunmen kidnap final year student in Plateau, demand N1m ransom
Suspected kidnappers have abducted a final year student of the Federal College of Education, Pankshin, Plateau State, Gele Felix Gonzuk.
It was gathered that the student, who operated a provision shop close to the institution, was abducted by the gunmen on Wednesday night, July 7.
The President of the Students’ Union Government, Mr Zuma Francis Fwanshiwa, who confirmed the kidnap on Friday, said the FCE Pankshin students are presently not happy over the incident.
"From what I gathered, he was in his shop in Pankshin with a relative when the gunmen who pretended to be customers arrived at the place around 8pm on Wednesday. One of the gunmen who first arrived at the shop actually bought bread from the shop, and while he was still there, another of his gang member came and asked for another item," Fwanshiwa said.
"It was while the student was trying to attend to the second person that the third gang member brandishing a gun suddenly appeared at the shop and ordered him and his relative to lie down. After they collected all the money they made from the shop that day, the gunmen asked the student to follow them, and since then, he has not been seen.” he added.
A close friend of the kidnapped student, who spoke to Punch said the gunmen had made contact with the family and demanded N5 million ransom.
"When the gunmen abducted the student, they called the wife and demanded N5 million ransom initially and later reduced the amount to N1 million. As it is, I don’t know where the wife of a student is going to get that kind of amount, and that’s why I am appealing to those holding him to show mercy and release my friend.” he said.
A statement issued by the Information Minister, SUG, Dakogol Edmond Sabo, on Thursday, described the victim as a dedicated and committed student.
"It's with heavy heart and a deep sense of sadness that the leadership of the Student Union Government, Federal college of education pankshin in it entirety receive with shock and hideous news about the kidnap of one of its dedicated and committed student comr. Felix Gele aka Flavor," the statement read.
"He is a student of 400 Level in Guidance and counseling department, and one time presidential aspirant of NAPSS FCE Pankshin. This event took place yesterday night by unknown gun men. And as it is now, the kidnappers are demanding for a ransom of a reasonable amount before his release.
"The SUG leadership at this point with every sense of humor and concern call on all meaningful individuals , government and philanthropist to please come to our aid on this task, as loosing a comrade is just like loosing thousands of comrades. We need our brother, friend and comrade to be rescued.
"We therefore, call on all our brothers, friends, and all Students of FCE Pankshin to remain calm and pray for him.
"However, without mincing word we want to register our dismay on the porous nature of our security architecture which left the citizenry and the students with no option than to find any available means of safe guiding themselves as this is a sign for us to strategize for pro activeness."