More than 100 children in Niger State, North-central Nigeria, are yet to be released over two months after their abduction.
HumAngle reported how a terror gang invaded the Salihu Tanko Islamiya school in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of the state on May 30, abducting 136 students.
Eleven of the schoolchildren were later released because “they were too young to walk long distances.” One of them was also found dead as a result of hardship they went through.
The remaining 124 students have been in captivity since then.
In June, their parents and school authorities 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 had paid N20 million.
In a July interview with the BBC, Abubakar Alhassan, the school headteacher, said the distraught parents raised another N30 million from selling their lands and other possessions including land belonging to the school.
An elderly man who was part of the six people sent by the children’s parents to deliver the N30 million, was abducted because the ransom delivered was low.
He was released a few days after terrorists demanded a balance of N4.6 million and five motorcycles for them to release the remaining abducted students.
According to Alhassan, the children’s continued stay in captivity has 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.
According to a Dailypost report on Wednesday, Aug. 4, the parents may have resigned to fate concerning their kids as they could not raise another N20 million ransom and six Honda motorcycles worth N3 million demanded by the terrorists.
The kidnapping is the second major school abduction in the state by terror gangs known locally as bandits, after 45 persons including teachers and students were taken in captivity from the Government Secondary School in Kagara in Feb.
In June, Niger State passed a law prescribing death penalty for kidnappers.
HumAngle’s request for comments to Wasiu Abiodun, police spokesperson in state, went unanswered.
Mary Noel-Berje, the spokesperson to Niger State Governor, Bello Abubakar, also ignored the request seeking comments via texts.
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