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KADUNA SCHOOL KIDNAP: Bandits Demand N1bn For Release 287 Pupils, Issue March 27 Deadline

Terrorists

The gunmen, who kidnapped 287 students and teachers from the LEA Primary School and the Government Secondary School, Kuriga, Kaduna State last week have demanded N1bn for their release.

The hoodlums, who made the demand also gave a deadline that would elapse on March 27, 2024, for the payment of the ransom.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the bandits contacted a spokesman for the families of the hostages on Tuesday and demanded the ransom.

On March 7, 2024, the schoolchildren were abducted by the hoodlums who took them into the forest.

Reuters reported that a community leader, Jubril Aminu, who acted as a spokesman for the families of the hostages, said he received a call on his phone from the kidnappers on Tuesday.

Aminu stated, “They made a total of N1bn ransom demand for all the pupils, students, and staff of the school.

“They gave an ultimatum to pay the ransom within 20 days, effective from the date of the kidnap (March 7). They said they would kill all the students and the staff if the ransom demand is not met.”

According to Reuters, a councillor representing Kuriga Ward in the Chikun Local Gornment, Idris Ibrahim, confirmed the ransom demand.

“Yes, the kidnappers called the community through Jubril Aminu’s number and made the demand,” he said.

“They called from a hidden number but the authorities are working on getting the number,” Ibrahim told Reuters.

He added that the security forces were taking “adequate measures” to secure the release of the students.

But a source in the Kuriga community told one of our correspondents that there was heightened tension in the area following the demand of the bandits.

“After the disclosure by a community leader, Jibril Aminu, to the Kuriga people, there has been a lot of tension in Kuriga, particularly among the parents of abducted students of that particular community. They are in a state of trauma. They need oxygen to survive, that is the stage we can describe how they are.

“Saying that the kidnappers need N1bn, honestly speaking, it is a huge amount of money and the community does not have the money to pay. One of the parents (a woman) of the abducted students is terribly sick because her main concern is her daughter who left the house without breakfast.

“There is an apprehension among Kuriga people. They said the government has abandoned them.’’

The source further stated that there was also the concern about “who kidnapped these students. It is now established that ISWAP is behind the abduction of Kuriga students and teachers. Some said that those people who abducted the train passengers are responsible for this issue.

“Honestly, there is a conspiracy of silence regarding these abducted Kuriga students. Nobody, even the politicians are not talking about the abducted school children.”

Councillor speaks

The Councillor representing Kuriga Ward, Ibrahim, said the community could not afford N1bn ransom

Idris, who disclosed this on Thursday in Kaduna, said the residents were already struggling with the hard economy to feed their families before the terrorists struck.

He stated, “ We only make our appeal to the Kaduna State Government and they’ve not promised us whether they are going to pay the ransom or not. The terrorists have not yet called since they made their demand of N1bn ransom.”

He lamented that since the incident occurred, parents and their families had been having sleepless. nights

Idiris stated, “ There is tension and fear already in the community as most villagers are evacuating their families to neighboring villages.”

He added that most of the members of the community were predominantly farmers, adding the sad incident would pose a serious challenge as the rainy season draws near.

He appealed to the Kaduna State Government and military to deploy soldiers in the community so that people could regain their confidence.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Kaduna State Governor, Muhammad Lawal Shehu, said the Kaduna State Governor , Uba Sani, was committed to rescuing the children.

He stated, “He (the governor) had a meeting with the National Security Adviser regarding the Kuriga community.’’

The CPS appealed to the media not jeopardize the ongoing effort toward rescuing the kidnapped victims.

Attempts to get the Kaduna State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Hassan Mansir, to get an update on the efforts to rescue the abductees did not succeed as he did not pick call to his mobile telephone nor respond to a text sent to the line.

The Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, had told reporters on Wednesday that President Bola Tinubu’s position on the kidnappings in Kuriga was that security forces should secure the hostages’ release without any payment to the kidnappers.

“The President has directed that security agencies must as a matter of urgency ensure that these children and all those who have been kidnapped are brought back to safety and also in the process ensure that not a dime is paid for ransom.”

493 in captivity

The recent kidnappings in the North have led to the captivity of about 493 children and adults in Kaduna, Borno and Sokoto states.

On March 4, 2024, about 200 women were reportedly abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from the internally displaced persons camp at Gamboru-Ngala in Borno State.

Although the United Nations put the figure at about 200 females, residents said the missing women were about 102. The women were reportedly abducted when they went out of the IDP camp in search of firewood in the bush.

On March 11, Apples Bite reported that nine out of the abducted 200 women and girls had returned home. This means about 191 are still in captivity.

On March 9, it was also reported that bandits kidnapped no fewer than 15 Tsangaya students at Gidan Bakuso area of Gada Local Government Area in Sokoto State. The incident took place about 1am at the school premises.

On March 7, 2024, about 287 schoolchildren, some older students and members of the school staff were abducted in the town of Kuriga, Kaduna State.

Going by the above figures, it implies that about 493 children and adults are currently held by bandits in Kaduna, Sokoto and Borno states,