Lawmaker representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Mohammed Musa has said that the Niger state government paid no ransom to secure release of abducted Islammiya students.
Though some news platforms reported that over N60m and new motorcycles were given as ransom to the bandits, Senator Musa in an interview on Channels Television noted that the Niger State Government has repeatedly said it would never pay ransom to the bandits.
“The Niger State Government has made it very categorically clear and one of the policies of the state government His Excellency initiated, there is no payment of ransom for whatever reasons.
“I so much agree with him (Governor Abubakar Bello) because the more you give the ransom, the more the trade will continue because they have turned it into a trade. When they approached the government asking for ransom, the government felt it cannot go against its policy.”
The lawmaker explained that although the government didn’t pay a dime to the abductors, the distraught parents however took up the initiative of selling their possessions to secure the release of their children.
He also disclosed that though the Niger state government got wind of the information when 13 of the kidnapped children escaped from their abductors, the state government was however not aware that some parents parted with some sums to the bandits.
Senator Musa further revealed that one of the parents that took the money to the bandits, was held back alongside the children.
“After they escaped, these people opened a new request. They now asked for more of the ransom and the state government insisted that they are not going to pay a kobo.
“These people now complained that they are feeding these children, they have spent so much of their money but the policy of the government is that no ransom will be given.
“They pleaded, the parents pleaded. I don’t know the number of calls Mr Governor was receiving from these parents but I have received so many calls appealing that we should do something about it.”