- The abductors of the students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, have sent a strong warning to the government
- In an audio recording, one of the bandits said the victims may die of hunger as they don't have any means to feed them again
- The bandits also allegedly rejected a N2.7m ransom the parents of the abducted students are willing to pay
The bandits who kidnapped 27 students and 15 others at Government Science College, Kagara, Niger state, have reportedly threatened to starve the victims to death if the government refuses to pay a ransom on time.
The Punch reported that kidnappers' threat was contained in an audio recording it obtained from Sheik Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric who has been meeting with bandits, on Wednesday, February 24,
According to the newspaper, one of the abductors who spoke in Hausa language was heard speaking with a negotiator who, according to Sheikh Gumi, is a top official of the school.
N2.7m ransom allegedly offered
The bandit reportedly complained that there is no food to feed the victims, saying the children and others are only living on water.
The unnamed negotiator then told him that the parents had agreed to pay N2.7 million, N100,000 per children but the bandit rejected the offer.
Our sponsor is among you
Meanwhile, the bandit also reportedly said that he is aware of all the moves the government and the security agencies have been taking, alleging that the person that gave them the "business" is among the government officials.
He said he is aware that the government is saying it will not pay the ransom, adding that he has "eyes all over Kagara".
"The person who gave us this business is there among you. He is there with you. Wherever you go, he is watching you."
Deploying security a waste of time
The bandit boasted that they are safe in the forest as there are no fences barricading them, adding the deploying security agents is a mere waste of time.
He said the Zamfara state governor who is allegedly tougher than the governor of Niger state was compelled to accept their terms.
“Your deploying security officials in Kagara is a waste of time. Is there a fence in this forest? You know we are not in the cities, we are in the forest.”
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that a top government official in Niger state revealed that division among the bandits is the major impediment to the release of the Kagara schools boys and their teachers.
The official whose name was not given because he was not authorised to speak on the development said some bandits are not on good terms with a gang leader whom the government is negotiating with.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_