The bandits who abducted 156 pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School in Tegina town of Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State 10 days ago have reduced the ransom they earlier demanded to N150 million.
The kidnappers had initially asked for a N110 million ransom, which was later hiked to N200 million before now reducing it to N150 million.
The Headmaster of the school, Alhaji Abubakar Alhassan, confirmed the new development, saying both the parents and the school authorities are confused on the next step to take.
“We are pleading with the federal and state governments to come to the assistance of these parents. “Only the government can afford the amount they are demanding,” he stated.
Alhassan, however, said the bandits allowed him to speak to one of the victims, who told him that “they are all fine.”
The headmaster said the girl, a fairly elderly one among the victims, who was also a teacher, said they were being fed with one groundnut cake (Kulikuli) daily.
He said only the Chairman of Rafi LGA, Mr. Ismaila Modibo, had visited the parents and the school during which he (Modibo) assured them that “the government will do something.”
Recall that last week, the Niger state government said that it was not unaware of the ongoing negotiation between the parents of the abducted young children, but insisted that it will not pay any ransom for the safe release of the children.
The State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, said to journalists that “Niger State Government is negotiating the release of the abductees and we are confident that in no distant time the young children will be united with their parents.