THE bandits, who abducted 156 pupils from the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School in Tegina town of Rafi Local Government of Niger State, have reduced their ransom demand to N150 million.
The bandits had initially asked for an N110 million ransom, which they hiked to N200 million, before reducing it to the present amount being demanded.
It was gathered that the parents and some Good Samaritans were able to raise N11.6 million which they reportedly took to the bandits but the money was rejected by the bandits.
The Headmaster of the school, Alhaji Abubakar Alhassan, who confirmed the report, said the parents and school authorities were in a fix about the next step to take.
“We are pleading with the Federal and state governments to come to the assistance of these parents. Only government can afford the amount being demanded,” Alhassan said.
Alhassan however said the bandits allowed him to speak to one of the victims who told him that “they are all fine.”
According to him, the girl, a fairly elderly one among the victims, who was also a teacher, said they were being fed with one groundnut cake (kulikuli) at every meal.
The Headmaster said only the Chairman of Rafi Local Government, Alhaji Ismaila Modibo, had visited the parents and the school during which he (Modibo) assured the parents that “government will do something.”
Meanwhile, as part of measures aimed at improving security in the state, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has directed the profiling of new residents in the state, saying: “Traditional and religious institution should work in cooperation with the local government council chairmen to undertake profiling of all new residents in their domains.”
In a message to the flag-off of the sale of fertiliser and 2021 cropping season in Minna on Tuesday, Bello said government would continue to strive towards mitigating security challenges in the state and its repercussion on agriculture and food security.
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