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17.08.2021 Exclusive EXCLUSIVE: After Pocketing N50m, Bandits Demand N20m, Six Motorcycles to Free Abducted Niger Students

Published 17th Aug, 2021

By Ibrahim Adeyemi

Abductors of 148 Islamic school pupils in Tegina, Niger State, are demanding an additional N20 million and six motorcycles to release them, after pocketing N50 million.

In May, gunmen kidnapped dozens of adolescent children from Salihu Tanko Islamic School and demanded N150 million ransom from their parents.

READ ALSO: Bandits Hold on to 148 Niger Pupils Despite Pocketing N50m Ransom

FIJ learnt that after initial payment of N20 million to the bandits, the victims’ parents and relatives sold their properties and begged around to gather N30 million subsequently paid to them.

Abubakar Alhassan, the headteacher of the school, told FIJ on Tuesday that the bandits threatened to kill the children if their demands were not met. 

“We paid them the money (N50 million) but they refused to release them up till now,” Alhassan said. “Now, they’re asking for another N20 million and six motorcycles.”

Alhassan was on national television in May, sobbing endlessly while stating that the state government had failed to reach out to the school management since the pupils were abducted.

But in a press statement, the Niger State Government said it was negotiating with the abductors. The government claimed to have “given 89 operational vehicles, 283 operational motorcycles, 30 bicycles and four tricycles in addition to funding to the various security operations in the state” in order to rescue the children.

However, Alhassan said the claims were false.

“We didn’t even see a fly from the state government,” Alhassan said. “It’s a lie. And it’s surprising. We didn’t even receive mosquitoes from the government. The officials should not sit in their office telling lies.”

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Published 17th Aug, 2021

By Ibrahim Adeyemi

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