There was palpable fear and apprehension in Kaduna State yesterday following threats by bandits to kill the remaining 17 abducted students of Greenfield University, Kaduna.
The bandits are asking for an additional N100 million and 7 motorcycles before the end of today (Tuesday) or the remaining students in their possession will be killed. Already, parents of the abducted students have so far paid a lump sum of N55 million, an amount the bandits said was just for the feeding of the kidnapped students.
Twenty-two students and a member of staff of the Greenfield University were abducted from the school campus on April 20.
The university is located at Karami Village, along the Kaduna-Abuja highway, an expressway that had been terrorized by bandits in the recent past before the deployment of female soldiers along the route. At least five of the abducted students have, so far, been killed by the bandits.
In an interview with the Hausa Service of Voice of America (VOA), monitored in Kaduna, a voice that identified himself as the leader of the bandit group,
Sani Idris Jalingo, said if the Kaduna State government or the families of the abducted students failed to pay a ransom of N100 million as well as provide them with 10 brand new Honda motorcycles by today, the remaining students will be killed.
Jalingo disclosed that there were 17 students in their custody, numbering 15 females and two male students, among them a grandchild of the late 18th emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, whom he identified as Hamza
The bandit disclosed that the families of the students have already raised and paid N55 million to them, but said they had used the money to feed the students.
He then vowed that it was his final warning and should the government or the students’ families fail to meet his demands, all the students will be killed. He said:
“You are speaking with the abductors of Greenfield students. We heard the utterances of the Kaduna State governor that he will not pay ransom to bandits.” He also disclosed that he is not a terrorist, but someone seeking for survival, seeking for food to eat.
“I’m not a terrorist, but a food seeker.” According to him, “If they fail to bring N100 million and 10 brand new Honda motorcycles known as ‘Boko Haram’ by Tuesday, I can assure you they will use trucks to evacuate the bodies of the remaining students.”
He also warned security agencies not to waste their time planting trackers on the motorcycles, saying his members do not go to cities and, therefore, arresting them will be difficult by tracking them.
The bandits had, before now, demanded for the sum of N800 million as ransom for the students. The inability of the parents to pay, coupled with the stand of the Kaduna State Government not to negotiate with bandits or pay ransom, has led to the killings of some of the student