From John Adams, Minna
The abductors of 27 students of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State, have rejected a N2.7 million ransom offer by the parents of the abducted children.
In an audio recording of negotiations between the leader of bandits and an unidentified mediator, it was learned that the abductors had turned down the offer of N100,000 ransom per child.
In the Hausa audio recording currently in circulation in the state, the bandits did not indicate how much ransom they will collect for the release of the school children kidnapped six days ago.
The leader of the bandits, who spoke in the audio tape, told the mediator that they were rejecting the offer because only half of the money will get to them, saying that their informants will claim almost 50% of the amount.
The bandits said their informants are monitoring all the events in the town, disclosing that there can be no successful operation without the aid of insiders.
They called for quick negotiations for the release of the school children, warning that they are running out food, and that any of the abducted who die of starvation will be buried in the bush.
The abductors vowed that there will be no peace in Kagara until the government disband the local vigilante group in the area, saying that no amount of force can stop them from operating in the area and other parts of the state.
According to the bandit leader, even if he is killed, he will brainwash his boys to continued the struggle.
The bandits also said that they are aware that the state government has vowed not pay any ransom because it fears that such money will be used to buy more weapons, threatening that whether the government pays the ransom or not they have money to acquire any weapon they want.
Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has assured that the school children will regain their freedom in a matter of days, insisting that ‘we will get them to release [the children] through dialogue with abductors.’
The governor gave the assurance when the Nigerian Governors’ Forum led by the Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, accompanied by four other governors paid him a visit in Minna.