…No ransom paid for victims – Gov Bello
By Wole Mosadomi
Abducted students and teachers of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State, among others, were, yesterday, released after 11 days in bandits’ den.
They were picked up at Ahmadu Attahiru Secondary School, Kagara, after release and taken to Minna, the state capital, amid tight security.
They were accommodated at the Niger State Development Suite opposite the Government House where they underwent medical checkup.
Receiving them at Government House in the evening, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello said 38 of the abductees, including all the students, were safely delivered unhurt.
“As early as 4am today, all the abductees were safely delivered and they are all here”, he said.
“One of them is in the hospital suffering from exhaustion. Others have been medically checked and certified medically fit. However, the medical team has been directed to still monitor them for the next few days to really ascertain their fitness.
“No doubt, they have been exposed to torture and we need to really take care of them properly”.
Bello disclosed that no ransom was paid to bandits to secure the captives release, adding that government only incurred some expenses on logistics.
Bello said the success story was a joint effort of security agencies, traditional rulers and other stakeholders.
“Though they have been safely delivered, government still has a lot of work to do by investigating the causes. With the discussions with other stakeholders, we will get to the root of the crisis,”, the governor assured.
One of the parents of the abducted students, John Paiko, from Munya Local Government Area, said he was shocked when he received the news of his abducted son.
“I am eager to see my son after the release has been perfected. The bitter experience will not stop me from sending him back to school because he is the only child among my three children that is going to school in the family,” he remarked.
Another parent, Suleiman Galadima, said he was happy to see his boy rescued.
One of the rescued students, Suleiman Lawal, said what happened to him was like a dream.
“On the day we were abducted, we were sleeping and I thought I was dreaming. We were tortured throughout in the jungle. No food, no water and we were flogged as if we were criminals. Gaskiya, left alone, I don’t feel like going back to school with what I experienced,”he said. Another student. said though they were tortured, he will still go back to school.
“What has happened has happened. It is part of life. There was no food except beans which was served on our palms only for one day. One sachet of water was shared between three of us but I will still go back to school with this sad experience”, he stated.