The abductors of pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina in Niger State have collected N20 million from parents of the children but have refused to release them, sources said yesterday.
The latest development followed the signing of a law by Niger State Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello for kidnappers, bandits and their informants to die by hanging. The law also empowers the operational capacity of the vigilante corps.
Parents of the pupils were told to pay N30 million earlier in the week but sources hinted yesterday that they were able to raise N20 Million which was collected and three days after the bandit collected the money but refused to release the children.
A parent said; “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.”
Government sources hinted that the recent development was “chiefly aimed at bending the government to rescind its stand against payment of ransom to them”.
All attempts to reach the head teacher of the school, Alhassan Garba Abubakar who has been the link between the parents and the bandits proved abortive as his telephone line was not going through.
Meanwhile, Governor Sani Bello, at a brief event at Government House, Minna yesterday signed the Special Provisions of the Law against Kidnapping and Cattle Rustling (2016) which was amended to provide for the punishment of informants and all those involved in aiding and abetting kidnapping and cattle rustling in the state to die by hanging.
The governor stated that informants who aid and abet kidnappers would now have to face death by hanging in public.
According to him, the punitive measure is a good stride and had become necessary in view of the security challenges that has continued to threaten peace in the state in particular and the country in general.
The governor also signed the Vigilante Amendment Law meant to invigorate and strengthen the state vigilante corps for better operational efficiency.