Armed bandits have detained a man who was sent to deliver a ransom payment to secure the release of dozens of abducted school children.
The incident occurred in Tegina, Niger State, according to BBC.
The man was sent by the children’s parents after they managed to raise N30m naira by selling land and other possessions. But they have been left feeling hopeless following his kidnapping.
The 136 students were taken from an Islamic school in Tegina, Niger state, in late May.
Armed bandits riding on motorcycles had stormed the town and opened fire indiscriminately; killing one person and injuring another. As people fled, the attackers went to the school and seized the children.
The parents and school administrators negotiated with the criminals and agreed to pay the ransom. They sold part of the school’s land as well as other possessions. However, when an elderly man showed up with the ransom, he had been seized by the bandits.
The bandits had reportedly called up the school’s headteacher to say that the money delivered was not the agreed sum.
Headteacher Malam Abubakar Alhassan told the BBC that six people were sent with the correct amount to meet the kidnappers near the forest where the children were being held. When they arrived, the gunmen demanded that one of the group, an elderly man, follow them into the forest so that the cash could be counted.
But they later called to say the money was not sufficient.
“Parents are now resigned to fate. They say they can’t raise any more money. They are now relying on God,” Mr Alhassan told the BBC.