Crime and MetroNews

3 Out Of 156 Pupils Kidnapped From Niger Islamiyya School Die In Bandits’ Den

Three of the 156 girls kidnapped from the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School in Tegina, Niger State’s Rafi Local Government Area, are said to have died in the kidnappers’ den.

Many of the remaining students were said to be very ill as a result of starvation, cold, and shock.

According to NEWS DIRECT, some of the students and teachers were kidnapped on May 30, but 17 of the abductees managed to flee the kidnappers three weeks later.

In a recent development, the bandits notified some of the parents over the phone that three students had died, however they (the bandits) did not reveal the students’ identities.

Tegina’s Chief Imam is reportedly said to have made a similar declaration following one of the town’s regular Muslim prayers.

However, the bandits allegedly assured the parents who were contacted that they would provide a video of the late pupils’ funeral and the current condition of the others to confirm their poor health.

The thieves’ deadline for paying the reduced ransom of N30 million had already gone roughly two weeks before.

When the criminals reduced the ransom, the state administration, which had previously shown little interest in paying the ransom to the bandits, allegedly reached out to the parents, asking them to raise N10 million and the government would cover the remainder.

“We contributed our own N10 million but up till now, we have not seen or heard anything from the government. It appears we have been left on our own. No one is showing any interest in getting our children released from the den of the bandits,” one of the parents was quoted as saying.

However, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Matane, debunked the claim, saying: “There was never a time that government promised to pay ransom to bandits or assist the parents to pay any or part of the ransom. We have a policy not to pay ransom; we still stand by that policy.

“You know this issue of payment of ransom is not healthy. The government as a policy does not do it but I know that because they are engaging with the bandits, they can tell them anything.”

Asked if the government was aware that three of the children had died, he said, “I am not aware that three of the girls have died. You know these people (bandits) can be very deceptive. They raise a lot of emotions and sentiments so that we will accept their bidding.”

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