Two of the parents of abducted 136 students of Salihu Tanko Islamic School at Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, have died.
Abubakar Alhassan, the Headteacher of the school, confirmed this on Friday during a live interview with Arise TV while recounting their horrific experience since the abduction last Sunday.
According to the abductees’ parents as well as the school management, the state government has also not shown any support towards their plight, instead leaving them alone to negotiate the release of the children.
“In the conversation I had with my sister, who also has children among the abductees, she told me that her children were sick and they could not walk well,” Alhassan said.
“They have removed the hijabs of the girls, the shirts of the boys and left them with only trousers. They have no shoes and have taken no food.
“They are only giving them kulikuli (groundnut cakes). The children were taken to the bushes and made to sleep on the ground. How do you expect them to survive?”
Alhassan continued by saying he had witnessed the burial rites of two parents of the abducted schoolchildren. One of the parents was said to have fainted and died on Wednesday after receiving the news of her child’s abduction.
“Also, a day after the abduction, another woman died of a heart attack. Even my wife is down and hospitalized,” he further noted.
Both the state and federal governments have often opposed the payment of ransom on the account that such would reinforce more criminal activities.
Alhassan, however, frowned at the government’s position, saying: “The government wants to release money to receive the dead bodies of the abducted children.
“If that is not their plan, they would have embarked on a rescue mission to save the children by all means.”
Idris Umar, proprietor of the school, also asked the government to reconsider its unwillingness to negotiate with abductors.
“It has been six days of agony, thirst and hunger.. We are appealing to the government not to leave us to our fate,” he said.
“If things continue this way, we have to conclude that the government doesn’t care about us. We are only doing a humanitarian service by providing affordable education to the children.
“If the school was government-owned, the attention of the state and federal stakeholders would have been more than what is being experienced now. Please reconsider your stance. Help us because the abducted children and their parents need your assistance.”
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