By Wole Mosadomi – Minna
The Bandits that abducted pupils of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School in Tegina town, Rafi local government area of Niger state have demanded a ransom of 110m before the release of the students.
It was reliably gathered that the bandits had also threatened to “waste” the innocent kids if the ransom was not paid as at Tuesday midnight.
The bandits it was gathered passed the information to the Headmaster of the School, Alhaji Abubakar Alhassan on Monday demanding a ransom of N110m before the abductees would be released.
The Headmaster who confirmed this development in a telephone interview with some Journalists in Minna on Tuesday also said that the bandits declared that there are 156 pupils in their captivity.
“I was baffled when the kidnappers declared to me that the sum of N110m should be paid to secure the release of the pupils and threatened to kill all the children if the money is not paid by the end of yesterday,(Tuesday), he remarked.
The Headmaster said the message has however been passed to the government.
Since Niger state Government has vowed not to pay ransom for the release of any abducted people, some public-spirited people within the community are said to have started raising the money which they hope to take to the bandits.
The Niger State Government has however said that it has set the necessary machinery in motion to ensure the safe release of the school children but completely ruled out the payment of ransom to the kidnappers.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, Mary Noel Berje quoted the state Deputy Governor Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso as also saying that
“Government is on the pursuit of the bandits and efforts are being put in place to identify them”
“The number of the kidnapped school children is not fully ascertained, however, efforts by security agencies to secure their release have been intensified”, the statement added.
“We don’t pay ransom to abductors. We are trying to negotiate to see how we can bring them back safely”, the statement quoted the Deputy Governor as saying.
The Islamiyya school it was reliably gathered has three components which are Nursery, primary and junior secondary school.
Vanguard News Nigeria