Emerging report reaching Page 36 on Saturday, indicates that the Courier sent to deliver the N30 million for the release of the 156 pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, was detained by the armed Fulani bandits, who claimed that the ransom money was short by N4.6 million.
It was learnt that the Courier, Kassimu Tegina, was sent with the money through an unnamed Negotiator, to avoid a repeat of what happened with the N25 million earlier paid as ransom, which was said to have been given to the wrong bandits.
It was further gathered that the bandits claimed that the N30 million delivered to them by Kassimu was short by N4.6 million, and held him captive along with the Schoolchildren, until the money is completed.
One of the parents said to Newsmen: “The bandits refused to release the children, and also held the man we sent, Kassimu Tegina, with the help of a Negotiator. They said the money is less N4.6 million. They insisted we must complete it, and in addition, buy six motorcycles.”
Another parent stated: “They said as a punishment, we must buy 6 motorcycles and complete the money. We struggled to raise the N30 million, and we have exhausted our goodwill to raise the N30 million. So, we are confused; they (bandits) are playing on our intelligence. We are going through hell in their hands.”
The Head Teacher of the School, Alhassan Garba Abubakar, who also confirmed that the N30 million was delivered to the bandits said: “But we are yet to see the person we sent with the money and the children.
“They demanded 6 Honda motorcycles that cost N490,000 each. That means we need another N6 million with the N4.6 million they claimed was short of the N30 million delivered as the latest ransom.”
Alhassan further said that the parents had initially raised N20 million as ransom, a with negotiation fee of N5 million, making it a total sum of N25 million, which was delivered as ransom, but the bandits said it went into wrong hands.
His words: “They (bandits) said we should bring another N30 million before they can release the pupils. After struggling, we were able to get the money, and we sent Kassimu.
“I spoke with them today (yesterday), and they said we should complete the money and make 6 new motorcycles available to them, before they can release them. We are tired; we have resigned to God, because we cannot raise any other money again.”
More news later…