Abductors of over 150 pupils from an Islamic school at Tegina in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State are still holding onto the children despite receiving N30million as ransom, findings by Daily Trust on Sunday have shown.
The children were abducted on June 30, after which the bandits demanded a N200m ransom to release them. Following negotiations, this was said to have been reduced to N50m.
However, the Niger State Government has consistently insisted that it won’t pay ransom.
This, Daily Trust on Sunday gathered, forced parents of the abducted pupils to take their destiny into their hands by resorting to churches and mosques to beg.
They also sold off their personal property, including lands, to raise money.
Multiple sources from the Kagara Emirate Council and Tegina community said the parents raised N30m, which was paid to the bandits two days ago.
This followed the expiration of the deadline given by the bandits for the ransom payment, which lapsed a week ago.
On the reported death of three of the pupils, our sources said it was still in the realm of speculation as there was no confirmation from the bandits.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to Niger State Governor, Mary Noel Berje, said the state government was neither aware of payment of ransom by the parents nor the death of three of the abducted pupils.
She restated the state government’s position against ransom payment to bandits.