Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger yesterday received freed pupils of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School,Tegina, who were kidnapped on May 30 by bandits.
He received the children and their parents at the Government House, Minna.
He said only one pupil died, and only 91 pupils were abducted with two adults, making a total of 93 people abducted from the school.
The governor said yesterday while hosting the children and parents in Minna that the government had been on the trail of the bandits since the children were abducted on May 30, 2021.
“Since they were abducted, we had been on their trail deploying every necessary means within our powers to secure the release of the children,” he said .
He recognised the roles played by the parents, the school’s head teacher, the chairman of Rafi local government area Musa Moddibo and the entire Tegina community.
The parent of the deceased pupil, Idris Umar, said five of his children were abducted and that his son, Ayatu Umar, died in the hands of the bandits.
He said he took the death of his son in good fate, but that it was sad to hear from the children that Ayatu died a few weeks ago in captivity.
“At least I am happy the other four children came back. I thank God the other four children came back safely, I however accept my fate over the death of Ayatu who was 9 years old,” he said.
Some of the parents interviewed were elated that their children were released even though they went through difficult periods to raise the ransom.
Babangida Jibril told LEADERSHIP that three of his children, a boy and two girls, were among those abducted and he paid N150,000 in the last payment of N18 million ransom of N50,000 each per head of his children.
Similarly Rabi Abubakar said she has only one child who was one of those abducted which is why he was elated to see him among those released.
Similarly Hadiza Isah said; “I had two children, I lost one a few years back , and the only daughter I have was among the abductees , I thank God she is safely released”.
LEADERSHIP observed that the children were looking feeble and malnourished when they arrived Minna about 2 am yesterday.
About Midday they met the governor after they were taken to a government health care facility within Minna metropolis.
A medical team led by Niger state commissioner for health, Dr Muhammad Makusidi, conducted medical examinations on the children before they met the governor.