There are indications that parents of the abducted pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina, in Rafi local government area of Niger State may have raised another N30million through donations from some notable Nigerians to complete the money demanded by bandits as ransom for the release of the schoolchildren.
The abductors of the 156 female pupils had reduced the ransom they demanded from the parents of the girls to N50million, less than half of the initial N200million ransom they demanded for the release of the pupils.
The bandits had reportedly collected N20million but refused to release the school children.
Parents of the pupils were told to pay N30 million earlier in the week but they were able to raise N20million which was collected, but three days later, the bandits after collecting the money refused to release the children.
“They wanted N30 million, we raised N20 million, we gave them the money only for them to say we only gave them money for recharge cards, now three days after, they refused to release our children,” a parent had said.
LEADERSHIP however gathered yesterday that parents of the pupils have concluded final arrangements to raise the ransom for the abductors with the help of donations from some Nigerians.
This is even as the military is carrying out a routine training exercise for some of its soldiers around the area they were abducted.
It was learnt that the last parts of the contributions and assistance to make up for another N30 million to be given to the bandits were being expected.
Touched by the difficulties they are facing to meet up with the demands of the bandits, some notable individuals, it was gathered, have pledged to help the parents raise the ransom.
The head teacher of the school, Alhassan Garba Abubakar, also confirmed to LEADERSHIP that arrangements were concluded to raise the ransom and expressed concern over the condition of the children.
Meanwhile, the Niger state government has said that the military will carry out a routine training exercise for some of its soldiers around Kagara town, headquarters of Rafi local government area, about 20 kilometres away from Tegina where the pupils were abducted.
A statement by the chief press secretary to the governor, Mary Noel Berje, noted that the exercise which started yesterday ends today.
The statement further noted that within the period of the two-day range classification exercise, the soldiers will carry out life-firing of heavy guns.
The state government stated that while there would be a lot of noise from gun firing by the soldiers, people within the locality are advised “not to panic and allow mischievous elements deceive them with negative rumour of any impending danger.
“There should be no public panic because it’s a routine military training exercise. The people around Kagara town and its environs are advised to disregard any attempt by mischief makers who may want to spread false rumour of an impending danger,” it added.