*Parents distraught as payment deadline approaches
*Abductors of Oyo cattle breeders ask for N10m
*Kidnappers of Kogi council chair demand N100m
Distraught parents of the 17 abducted students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, on Monday begged the kidnappers to spare the lives of their wards, lamenting that the agreement to free the students upon payment of a N55 million ransom to the Abductors’, should be respected.
It was reported that the kidnappers on Monday issued today, 4th May, as ultimatum for the payment of N100 million, failure to which they would kill all 17 students.
According to them, the N55 million paid had been used to “feed the students.”
Twenty-two students and a matron of the university’s female hostel, were abducted April 20 from their campus at Kasarami Chikun Local Government Area, LGA, on the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway.
The bandits, who initially contacted the parents and demanded N800 million ransom, later killed five of the students following the inability of the parents and the university management to pay.
They first killed three of the students on April 23 and dumped their bodies close to the university campus. The bodies of two more abducted students were found also close to the campus three days later.
Leader of the gang, who identified himself as Sani Jalingo, and spoke yesterday on Voice of America VOA, Hausa Service, said in addition to N100m, they also wanted 10 new Honda motorcycles popularly known as Boko Haram to be delivered to them.
He threatened death for the remaining 17 students if the cash and the motorcycles were not made available by today.
The bandit leader said the 17 students comprised 15 ladies and two boys. The VOA reported that one of the abductees is a grandchild of the 18th Emir of Zazzau, the late Alhaji Shehu Idris.
One of the parents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they have been thrown into a state of shock by the latest threat issued by the bandits to kill the children, in spite of having collectively raised all they could as parents and paid more than the N55million mentioned by the bandits leader as ransom.
“We are not only shocked, we are scared because these people had earlier killed some of the children.
“We were shocked because, when we paid them the ransom last week, and mind you, we paid more than the N55 million the bandits claimed to have collected from us, our agreement was that, they were going to release the children.
“We have nothing to say now than to beg the bandits to please spare the lives of our children and release them unconditionally. Because, we don’t have more money to give them.
“They should please, keep their promise and release our children,” the parent said.
Jalingo, who described yesterday’s threat as the final, said: ”You are speaking with the abductors of Greenfield students. We heard the utterances of the Kaduna State Governor (Nasir El-Rufai) that he would not pay ransom to bandits to purchase additional arms.
“He (El-Rufai) also told his family that, whoever goes to a place where they are kidnapped, he will not pay even N5 ransom to rescue them. That is to show that the Nigerian government has failed and does not love the citizens. That is why we killed the students (the initial five).”
When asked if he is into terrorism, Jalingo laughed and replied: “I am not a terrorist but a food seeker.”
“If they (government and parents) fail to bring N100 million and 10 brand new Honda motorcycles by Tuesday (today), I can assure you, In Shaa Allah (by God’s grace), they will use trucks to evacuate the bodies of the remaining students.”
In the VOA report, two of the students, a male, and a female spoke, begging the government to pay the ransom because “these people (bandits) don’t make empty threats; whatever they say, they carry out.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, reacting to the threat, told The Nation that the police, the military, and other security agencies were determined to rescue the students.
“A lot has been done, unfortunately, this is a high profile and very sensitive matter, the measures being taken are not measures anybody would discuss on the pages of the newspapers.
“We are all working intensively and collaboratively to do whatever we can to avert further harm to those innocent students.”
A group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has told President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor El-Rufai to do everything possible to prevent the kidnappers from carrying out their threat.
It expressed consternation that the government has failed to “protect the lives of the students only because they are not their biological children”, and flayed the political elite for abandoning the students and “assuming that their lives are not worth rescuing”.
Three cattle breeders were, at the weekend, kidnapped at Idi Ope, near Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State.
It was gathered that the abducted persons, identified simply as Kabiru, Kazeem and Soka, were on their way to their ranches when their abductors struck. The abductors are demanding a N10 million ransom.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Adewale Osifeso, who confirmed the incident, said that the three victims were abducted around 6:20pm on Sunday, 2 May at Idi Ope village near Igangan.
“The case was reported 11:54hrs on Monday, and efforts are ongoing to rescue the victims and apprehend the abductors,” Osifeso said.
Meanwhile, the abductors of the Chairman of the Yagba West LGA of Kogi State, Mr. Pius Kolawole, have demanded N100 million for his release.
Kolawole was in the same vehicle with the state Pension Board Commissioner, Mr. Solomon Akeweje, who was fatally shot by the abductors on Saturday.
A family source told The Nation that the kidnappers contacted another family member on Sunday to make the ransom demand.
Thefact Nigeria reports that the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, while fielding questions on a Channels Television program, ‘Sunrise Daily’, said that he was not aware of the ransom demand made by the abductors.