Sunday, June 20, 2021

Abductors of 156 Niger Islamic school pupils increase ransom to N200m


Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Kidnappers of about 156 pupils of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School in Tegina town, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State have increased the ransom money from N110million to N200million.

The pupils, mostly teenage girls, were kidnapped on Sunday.

The bandits had earlier demanded N110million as ransom.

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But a father of five of the abductees, Ali Mohammed, told Daily Post on Friday that the bandits had contacted them on Thursday, informing them that the ransom had been raised to N200m.

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Mr Mohammed, who is a Tipper driver, told the newspaper via telephone that the bandits are serious about their threats of killing the children if their demands were not met.

He said: “The bandits are serious about killing our children if we cannot pay. We are poor people, we don’t have such money, we plead with the government to come to our assistance. We are feeling so abandoned.”

Meanwhile, the state government had on Thursday said it had established contact with the bandits and negotiations were ongoing.

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Speaking with newsmen in Minna, the state capital, Deputy Governor Mohammed Ketso, however, insisted that the state government would not pay any ransom for the safe release of the pupils.

He said: “Niger State Government is negotiating the release of the abductees and we are confident that in no distant time, the pupils will be united with their parents.

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“Government is in touch with some of the parents of the kidnapped children, they have been assured of the safe return of their wards,” he said.

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The deputy governor also said that contrary to reports that 200 children were abducted, only 163 children, including some staff were taken away by the bandits.

“Government has established contacts with the abductors”, he said.

He assured the public that all the pupils will be rescued and reunite with their parents safely.

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