Date posted: January 17, 2017
Robert Egbe and Oluwatoyin Adeleye
The abductors of eight pupils and workers of Nigerian Tulip International College (NTIC) have made a ransom demand of N100 million to free them, The Nation learnt yesterday.
It was gathered that the kidnappers contacted the husband of one of the victims early yesterday to make the demand.
The plea that the families did not have that amount of money was rejected by the kidnappers, it was learnt.
“The kidnappers called early this morning and demanded N100m. That is what they are insisting on for now, but the family cannot raise that amount.
“We are worried. We hope God will touch their heart to free all the victims. The police are also assuring us that they are on top of the situation,” a source close to the family said.
But the Ogun State Police Command denied knowledge of any contact with or discussion on ransom from the kidnappers.
Spokesman Abimbola Oyeyemi said the police were still doing all they could to rescue the victims.
He said: “We are not aware of that. We are not aware. We are doing our own job trying to get the victims rescued, so we are not aware of any discussion about ransom.”
Also yesterday, students of the college were sent home and academic activities suspended.
Vice Principal (Academic), Mr. Olayinka Aderoju, told The Nation that the school had been closed for this week, after which a Parents’ Teachers Association (PTA) meeting will be held and the reopening will be discussed.
He was hopeful that the victims would be returned safely.
Aderoju said: “For security reasons, we cannot divulge any information about the development yet. But we are doing our part and the security operatives are doing theirs, but we cannot say anything that can jeopardize the efforts. But we are hopeful of their early release and freedom. For now the school is observing a break in order to identify with those abducted students and staff. We cannot continue as though things are normal. In any case, we are hopeful that very soon there will be good result for us. For now, we have not decided how long the break will be but on Saturday we will hold a PTA meeting where we will review the situation and after that we will determine what to do but before then, we are hopeful.”
Parents and authorities of the school were thrown into panic at the weekend, when kidnappers dressed in military camouflage uniforms, stormed the school and whisked away three students, three female supervisors, one female cook and a female Turkish teacher.
Two of the abducted students were preparing for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) exam.
The VP called for government’s intervention to end the spate of kidnappings across the country, noting that the lives of innocent children were at risk.
“This shows that government has a big responsibility on its hands. This situation is getting out of hand and government has so much left to be done. Are they trying to tell people that their children are not safe anymore, even in their schools? I think they can do better in the area of security,” he said.
Source: The Nation , January 16, 2017
Tags: Africa | Education | Hizmet-inspired schools | Nigeria |