One of the freed schoolboys featured in a video purportedly released by Boko Haram on Thursday, said he was ordered by the kidnappers to speak in the video.
The pupil, who spoke to Arise TV on Friday at Katsina State Government House on Friday, shortly after they were received by Governor Aminu Masari, said they (the students) suffered a lot.
“I don’t know who they were but they said I should say they were Boko Haram members gang of Abu Shekau,” he said.
Recall that Over 300 students of Government Science Secondary School were abducted few hours after the President Muhammadu Buhari arrived in Daura, Katsina for a week-long private visit.
A video purportedly released by Boko Haram had claimed that the terrorist group was responsible for the abduction.
The pupil, who disclosed that he was the teenager who featured in the video, said: “What I experienced, they (his captors), are not Boko Haram.”
The teenager further said: “Sincerely speaking, the gang of armed robbers was very scared of what was happening from the jets. They assigned me to speak directly from the video to tell the government to stop sending the army and jets, if not they were going to kill us
“We suffered a lot physically; they beat us morning and night. They only gave us food once in a day and water twice in a day. Some of those who beat us are just tiny boys with big guns.”
Also, one of the parents of the victims, Mallam Aminu Dayyabu, a local government employee in the state, described the time his 12-year-old son spent with the bandits as the most traumatic period of his life.
Dayyabu said the psychological horror of waiting endlessly for his missing child affected his family during the period, while harbouring fears that the experience could have a lasting negative impact on his son’s mental health.
After the pupils were released, Dayyabu said: “Let me first show gratitude to Almighty Allah for the safe return of Farouq and his colleagues. I’m also grateful to the state government as well as the Federal Government. It was a terrible experience for me and my entire household throughout the period that Farouq was away. My neighbours also assisted us with prayers.
“Since last Friday when the pupils were abducted, I have been going to the school, hoping to hear that my son and the other pupils had been found.
“I’m very happy that they were released but I will appeal to the governor to beef up security in the school and in the entire community.”
In the same vein, Hajiya Murjanatu Danja, whose son, Hussaina Nasiru, was also among the freed students, said she was grateful to God and the government for ensuring their release.
She, however, reserved further comments until when she would have the opportunity to see her son.
“I’m happy because the pupils were released. I thank God and will ever remain grateful to Him for bringing Hussaina back safely. But let me see him first, then I will talk more. I thank the state government for the rescue of the boys. The experience has been traumatic for me and my family,” she said.