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“Kidnappers demanded Maltina, Milk, along with ransom”- Father of Kidnapped ABU student

NEWSMAN, Kaduna – Management of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, said nine of its students kidnapped along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway last Sunday, by gunmen, have been set free by their kidnappers.

ABU Director of Public Affairs, Auwal Umar, confirmed the release of the kidnapped students on Sunday saying “our students that were kidnapped some days ago have been released on Saturday night.”

The students from the Department of French were travelling to Lagos for a programme at the Nigerian French Language Village in Badagry, Lagos, when they were kidnapped.

One of the students, Dickson Oko, who escaped with a gunshot wound said the kidnappers had contacted families of the students demanding N30 million ransom on each student. The kidnappers, however, reduced their demand to N1 million on each student.

One of the fathers who paid the ransom to the Kidnappers in the Kaduna forest before his child was released on Saturday, said he sold his goats, pigs and other valuables to raise the money.

“Some parents paid N1million, some paid over N1million, some paid N2milion, some paid over N500,000, depending on how each parent bargain with the kidnappers because they spoke separately with us. Some parents were asked to drop their money at a particular place at Abuja junction and leave the place then somebody picked the money, counted it and notified the people in the bush that the money had been paid.

“Four of us went to deliver the money but we didn’t know that we were all victims. After a series of bargaining, they said I should pay N1 million but I told them that I cannot afford to raise that amount. I told them I have over N500, 000 and they asked me to bring it. I sold my goats, pigs and other belongings to pay the money,” he said.

The parents said that they took the ransom to the kidnappers in the forest late hours Saturday, Premium Times reported.

“The amount varied from N500, 000 to N4million to get each of the children released …..while some were made to hand their ransom to members of the kidnap syndicate in Kaduna, others were contacted separately,.We were united by the kidnappers through phone calls at the Abuja junction. We were made to convey the ransom to the kidnappers’ enclave in the bush along the Kaduna-Abuja road. The kidnappers also asked us to bring Maltina and milk together with the money. Another parent said, “they called on Saturday and said if I am not able to pay N1 million, they will kill my daughter or marry her or use her as a sex slave. 

“On arriving Kaduna we were told that security personnel were monitoring the bandits in the bush, but surprisingly, the bandits called us and told us to come and wait at Abuja junction. “They sent us a telephone number to call. We called the number and the person came to take us to a car. Unknown to me the owner of the car is also a victim’s parent; his daughter was among those abducted. We drove along the Kaduna – Abuja road around 11 pm to deliver the ransom and other things. The Kidnappers also demanded crates of Maltina and cartons of milk from each us.

“When we got to Dutse, we stopped at a junction leading to the bush. We met soldiers there and they stopped ordered us to sit down. The soldiers observed that all of us were carrying nylon bags and the items and they asked what were in the nylon bags. We told them that we are carrying money to pay ransom for the students that were kidnapped. The soldiers wished us safe journey to the bush and we parked the car at the junction. We trekked far inside the bush from Dutse and handed over the money to the Kidnappers and they released our children to us.” 

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