Part of the land belonging to Tanko Salihu Islamic School, Tegina, in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, was sold to raise N50m ransom in two batches, which was paid to the bandits that kidnapped 136 students from the school.
This was as the parents of the students who had spent 79 days in captivity as of Wednesday said they had exhausted every available means to get the children released from captivity.
A source from Tegina, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said part of the school land was sold to raise the initial money paid to the bandits to release the children.
He added, “After paying N50m ransom in two batches, the kidnappers insisted on collecting additional N20m and six motorcycles which will cost another N3m. A part of the school land was sold to raise the N50m paid.”
The source lamented that informants contributed to the continued stay of the children with the kidnappers, saying they were keeping the bandits abreast of developments among the parents.
He said, “The first time the honourable representing our area came on a sympathy visit to the parents, he gave us N1m. Immediately he left, the abductors called to tell us how much he dropped.
“Also, when the Director-General of the state Emergency Management Agency came, the abductors did the same thing, but we cannot identify anyone who could be doing that.”
Meanwhile, the parents, who resumed at the school every day, lamented that the state government had not been discussing with them efforts aimed at rescuing the children.
One of them, who declined to be named, said, “We are tired; the government is doing nothing.”
The principal of the school, Alhassan Garba Abubakar, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said, “The government should adopt the same method used rescuing the Commissioner for information to free the children.”
He said, “They said they didn’t pay any ransom to rescue the commissioner and the Zone C APC chairman; so we want them to use the same method to secure our children’s freedom.”
The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, said the government had wanted to take military action, but the parents were reluctant.
Also, the new Niger state Commissioner of Police, Monday Bala Kuryas, said intelligence was ongoing to discover the location of the students.
The CP said this while speaking to journalists in the Mariga Local Government Area during a visit to tactical teams and special formations across the state.
He said, “The children will be released very soon. We are doing our best to locate where they are.”