The negotiation that has been going on for the release of the six female students and two staff of Engravers College, Kakau Daji, Chikun local government area of Kaduna state, has suffered a setback in view of the new demands by their abductors.
The kidnappers, who had earlier demanded a ransom of N50 million have reportedly increased it to N80 million, saying that each of the captives must pay N10 million before regaining freedom.
The girls, alongside the vice principal of the school and the matron, were abducted around 12:10am on Thursday.
In an interview on Sunday, an official of the school who is involved in the bargain for the victims’ freedom, said the kidnappers discarded the initial arrangement after listening to reports of the abduction on radio.
“They (kidnappers) called individual parents and asked them to pay N10 million each. They said they don’t want collective bargain again, every parent should pay N10 million for the release of their children,” the official said.
“They told us that they heard the story on BBC. They called me and they were insulting me. They said they don’t want a collective bargain again. They said every parent should pay N10 million.
“They insulted me because they thought I was negotiating for the ransom on behalf of government. I told them that when such incidents happen, newspapers and radio stations always report it for the world to know.
“The asked me whether I am a lawyer, I told them that I am a teacher. They asked whether I am the proprietor of the school. I told them that I am not the owner of the school. Then then asked me to remove my hands off the issue and face my business.
“They asked me whether I can recall some expatriates that where kidnapped sometimes ago. They said they were the ones who abducted them and that it was the government that paid the ransom.
“I pleaded them to have mercy on the parents of the children because they don’t have that kind of money.”
Yakubu Sabo, spokesman of the Kaduna police command, could not be reached for comments as his mobile phone as was switched off.
On Friday, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, had said efforts were in place to secure release of the victims.