Terrorists who abducted 136 pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiya school, Niger State, North-central Nigeria, have seized a man sent to deliver ransom to secure the release of school children.
According to a report by the BBC on Sunday, July 25, 2021, the unnamed elderly man was part of the six people sent by the children’s parents to deliver a sum of N30 million but was detained by kidnappers who said the money was not sufficient.
The school children have been in captivity since May 30, 2021.
Earlier in June, the distraught parents and school authorities had negotiated with the terrorists to pay a N110 million ransom after they bemoaned neglect by the state government.
The terrorists later increased the ransom to N200 million after the parents paid N20 million.
But Abubakar Alhassan, the school headteacher told BBC that the parents had raised another N30 million from selling their lands and other possessions.
Alhassan said the children’s continued stay in captivity and the delivery man’s abduction had left parents feeling hopeless.
“Parents are now resigned to fate. They say they can’t raise any more money. They are now relying on God,” he said.
A wave of kidnappings by terrorists, known locally as bandits in the Northwest and North-central Nigeria is forcing families deeper into poverty to pay ransoms amidst little government efforts.
Schools have recently been targeted in mass abductions. More than 1,000 students have been abducted from schools in the regions since Dec. 2020.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who warned against ransom payment, has repeatedly ordered security forces to deal with the terrorists. But the menace has not stopped.
About 121 students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna state, were abducted on July 5, 2021.
At least 31 of the students had since regained freedom after school authorities negotiated with the terrorists.
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