The Schoolboys who were kidnapped from the Government Science Secondary School, in Kankara, Katsina State, by suspected bandits on December 11, 2020, have given more insight into the development that led to their release, .
According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the boys said that they were thoroughly beaten by the bandits, adding that, a ransom was paid to the kidnappers, before the Schoolboys were freed.
Their narration conflicted with that of the Zamfara and Katsina State Governments, as well as the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government and the Nigerian Military, which claimed that no ransom was paid.
Three of the boys said that their kidnappers told them they were initially paid N30 million, equivalent to around $76,000, but decided not to release them, because they had demanded for N344 million per head.
His words: “They threatened to release only 30 of us, when the 30 million initial ransom was paid”, the newspaper quoted 16-year-old Yinusa Idris as saying.
“They even took 30 of us away on motorcycles ready to release.”
Another abducted Student, Imran Yakubu, a 17-year-old, said that the kidnappers told them that: “N1 million must be paid per each Student…or we will recruit or kill you.”
The Wall Street Journals also noted that a person familiar with the negotiations, said that a ransom was transferred in three batches.
The boys were further told on December 16, that if they return to School, they would be kidnapped again.
“There were more than 100 armed men in the School courtyard. They were shining bright flashlights and streaming into the pastel-coloured buildings. ‘Gather here. We are soldiers’,“, they said.
Some on foot, the gunmen, others on motorcycles, ordered the boys to walk in a long column, hitting anyone who walked too slowly with a whip or rifle butt, reportedly.
“At one point, when the guards were looking at the sky, two Students close to the back of the convoy tried to slip away. We were all told to halt, so they could watch our classmates being punished.
“The older one’s hands were tied to a tree, and he was beaten. Water was poured on his body in the early morning, so that he could feel the cold”, one of the Students narrated.
More news later…