A man identified as Kasimu Barangana, has been abducted by the bandits who kidnapped 138 pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, on May 30, when he and seven other members of the Tegina community were sent to deliver N30 million ransom to the bandits in the forest.
The money, according to the headmaster of the Islamiyya school, Abubakar Alhassan, who spoke on a BBC Hausa Service programme on Sunday, was another installment of the ransom the bandits demanded from the parents.
“The parents had earlier sent an initial instalment of N25 million ransom to the bandits.
“After we sold our farmlands, properties and other valuables, we raised the N30m and sent Barangana and seven other members of the community to deliver to the bandits in the forest but we were shocked when the bandits called to inform that they had seized Barangana, alleging a shortfall of N4.6m when they counted the money,” Alhassan said.
“After the ransom was delivered, the bandits took Barangana to another location to count the money.
“Later, however, they called to inform the community of the shortfall of N4.6m and that they were holding on to Barangana until the shortfall is delivered.
“We believe that the latest N30m ransom was complete but the bandits have continued to devise a means to be receiving more money from the parents,” he added.
In an earlier programme on the BBC Hausa Service, the Secretary to the Niger State Government, Ibrahim Matane, explained why the government is yet to apply force in rescuing the pupils.
Matane said the government was “taking time to evaluate ongoing negotiations with the bandits in order to prevent collateral damage.”
“We know the location where they (pupils) are kept but we are very careful of any untoward situation; we do not want to hurt the children while resorting to military operations
“We are looking for ways of using kinetic action to rescue the children to avoid any collateral damage,” Matane said.