Niger state government claims to know where 136 abducted students are held hostage
The Niger state government has revealed that it knows where the bandits and pupils are, 64 days after the abduction of 136 children from the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School Tegina in Rafi Local Government Area of the state, but it is concerned about collateral damage.
The government has stated on multiple occasions that it will not pay ransom to bandits or kidnappers.
However, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, the Secretary to the Niger State Government, has stated that parents of the abducted children have repeatedly pleaded with the government not to carry on with its planned strategy since it may result in the deaths of some children.
According to reports, the criminals have detained the students in 25 various locations awaiting payment of the remaining N4.6 million and five motorcycles.
It has also been claimed that parents of students and the school administration are struggling to gather N3 million in order to purchase the motorcycles sought by the abductors in order to guarantee their children’s release.
According to Matane: “Although, the government wanted to use the special security corps it launched in mid-June this year to enter the forests and confront the bandits; but the parents of the kids begged that they would not like to lose any child.
“This type of operation as you know will end up in collateral damage. We know where those bandits are. We are monitoring their movements.”
He further disclosed that: “Even though the government is pained by the situation, it is the firm policy of the government not to pay ransom. But the parents came and begged us to.
We are assuring that the children will be brought back safely.”