The health of one of the two school children abducted last week by gunmen from Igbonla Model College, Epe, Lagos, was said to have taken a turn for the worse yesterday, just as the kidnappers rejected the N750,000 offered to them as ransom.
The victim was said to have fallen ill after the heavy downpour on Saturday, which prompted the kidnappers to ask for ransom from his family so they can release him for treatment.
The family was said to have raised N750,000 which they offered to the kidnappers, who in turn rejected it and asked for N1 million.
The new sum was a far cry from the initial N100 million they had demanded, after they had stormed the college last Thursday and abducted the vice-principal, a teacher, and two students from the school.
By Saturday evening, the kidnappers had reduced the ransom to N5 million each totalling N30 million, before yesterday’s further reduction to N1 million.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity yesterday night, a family member of one of the abducted students said: “We were contacted that our child is very sick. They said due to the heavy downpour that the child is very ill.
“They said for the child’s sake, they have reduced the ransom to N3.5 million each, but gave respite to our family. They said we should drop something reasonable and pick our child.
“They have told us where and how to pay the ransom, but they warned that we must not involve the police. We are gathering money.
“We have begged them to give the child drugs while we make efforts to raise the money. Our fear is not knowing what is reasonable? When my sister asked what is reasonable, the man switched off his phone.
“They may not understand how we were able to raise the N750,000. We sold many things in our house and other family members contributed as low as N1,000.
“I am appealing to the kidnappers to take the child as theirs. Please, accept the money we offer and set the sick child free for treatment.
“We have been looking for who to borrow N250,000 from, but nobody is willing to assist. Please, temper justice with mercy.”