- Community sold school land to raise ransom money in Niger State
Bandits who kidnapped pupils of Islamic School, Tegina, Niger State, are still extending their kidnapping business to those who went to meet them in the bush to deliver the demanded ransom. The bandits were angered by the part payment of the ransom they demanded for the release of the school children, including the shortage of about N2.4 million.
The Bandits were said to have demanded N50 million ransom for the release of the school children. The community had contributed N20 million which was delivered to the bandits as first installment payment.
Residents of the community disclosed that they, thereafter, sold everything available in their neighbourhood to raise the balance N30 million to offset the N50 million ransom demanded by the bandits. They said that part of the Islamiyya School, about 2/3 of land in the school area was also sold to raise the money.
According to the residents, when at last they raised the N30 million, the District Head, the parents, and the school authority met, and selected some persons who were delegated to deliver the N30 million balance to the bandits in the bush.
The delegates were said to have taken the N30 million to the bandits in the bush. The community waited for the return of the delegates, two hours passed, four hours, no one in sight, neither the delegates nor the school children.
The residents decried that after six hours, the Bandits sent a message that the delegates who were in the bush to deliver the ransom have been kidnapped and also held hostage.
The bandits were said to have explained that “after counting the money, they discovered that there was a shortage of N2.4 million. The kidnappers issued fresh conditions for the release of all their hostages, threatening that for the N2.4 million ransom shortage, the community must complete the N2.4 million, give them 8 motorcycles, and pay an additional N6 million fine.
The community leaders and parents of the kidnapped school children were said to have lost hope, noting that they cannot do anything more and have nothing more to sell.
Unfortunately, there was no one to confirm the shortage of the money claimed by the bandits. The delegates could not ask for the confirmation either. They were all convinced that the N30 million they took to the forest to meet the kidnappers was complete.
They were said to have, then, responded to the bandits that they can have the kidnapped children and other hostages; declaring that they will leave their matter in the hands of God.
Unfortunately, the community was said to have no government presence or attract any government attention or support. The residents had struggled within their limited capacity for the rescue of the hostages.