The abductors of the schoolboys of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State demanded for the sum of N344 million naira or N1 million naira per head of each of the kidnapped students.
Contrary to the Nigerian Government’s claim that no ransom was paid to secure the release of the schoolboys, a report by the World Street Journal on Thursday said that a huge amount was paid to the abductors before the boys were released.
According to the report, during the week-long of their captivity, the victims “endured beatings, threats and deprivations at the hands of their kidnappers”.
Eight of the 13 boys the WSJ interviewed disclosed that some of the kidnapped children “were forced to eat raw potatoes and bitter kalgo leaves to survive and “were seldom allowed rest, sleeping on rocky ground home to snakes and scorpions”.
Three of the interviewed boys insisted that their kidnappers told them they were initially paid 30 million naira, “but decided not to release the boys because they had demanded 344 million naira, that is N1 million naira per head.
Following the controversy that trailed the released of the schoolboys, Nigerian Government said no ransom was paid to secure their release.
The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed at a news conference in Abuja said that the schoolboys were released without “exchange of money” in the course of the negotiation with their abductors.
Reaffirming the minister’s claim, the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, said that the state was able to secure the release of the schoolboys through the help of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) and some repentant bandits.
Kankara schoolboys were kidnapped after gunmen attacked Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina state, on December 11.