Bandits who abducted pupils of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State have increased the ransom for their release from N110m to N200m for the delay in payment.
The bandits had invaded the school last Sunday and abducted over 200 pupils, killing one in the process and later released about 15 of them who were underaged and could not trek the long distance into the forest.
They then made a demand of N110m for the pupils’ release with an ultimatum that they would be killed if the ransom was not paid.
However, on Friday morning, the bandits reportedly got across to the parents and told them they had increased the ransom to N200m with the same threat of killing the children if the deadline was not met.
One Malam Ali Mohammed, whose five children were among those kidnapped, confirmed the new threat to journalists, saying “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,” Mohammed said.
Another parent lamented that the state government had abandoned them to their fate as no official of the state government has visited them in Tegina since the incident happened.
It was learnt that through contributions, the parents and public spirited people in the community had been able to raise only N11m which they offered to the bandits but the money was rejected outright.
By Isaac Dachen
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