By Laleye Dipo
The bandits who abducted the 156 pupils of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School in Tegina town of Rafi local government of Niger state last Sunday have increased the ransom for their release to N200m.
Initially the bandits demanded for N110m for the release of the victims, mostly girls, with a threat that if by Thursday the money was not delivered they would be killed.
However the bandits reportedly got across to the parents Thursday evening that the ransom had been increased to N200m with the same threat if the deadline was not met.
Father of five of the victims and a tipper driver Malam Ali Mohammed confirmed the latest development to THISDAY on Thursday night.
Mohammed who was sobbing in the telephone conversation with THISDAY said “the bandits are serious about killing our children if we cannot pay
” We are poor people, we don’t have such money, we plead with the government to come to our assistance,” Mohammed said.
It was learnt that government may have abandoned the parents to their fate as no official of the state government has visited them in Tegina since the incident happened.
It was said that only the Rafi Local Government Council Chairman Alhaji Ismaila Modibo and some members of his council have physically commisserated with the victims’ parents.
THISDAY also learnt that through contributions, the parents and public spirited people in the community had been able to raise only N11m, a large chunk of which came from a top political office holder in the area.
It was also learnt that the mother of one of the victims whose name was not given died on Thursday as a result of “trauma”.