The Niger state Governor, Abubakar Sani, has said that government would ensure the arrest and prosecution of all those involved in the kidnapping of the Tegina Islamiyya school children who were freed, Friday, after three months in captivity.
Speaking when he received the children at Government House, Minna, he confirmed the actual number of pupils kidnapped was 91 while 90 were released adding that one of them unfortunately died in captivity.
He said, “We received the Islamiyya school children that were kidnapped on May 30 this year. You may recall that on that day, gun men invaded Tegina town and abducted young boys and girls between the ages of three and twelve years. Since then we have been on their trail deploying every necessary means within our efforts to secure their release.”
He said medical experts from the ministry of health had checked the health status of the children.
He thanked all those who contributed towards the release of the children, adding that the abduction of the innocent children showed the madness of the kidnappers
“I can assure you that we would do whatever it takes to bring them to justice. We have put in place all necessary measures to hunt down and prosecute those involved in this heinous act,” the governor assured.
Speaking in an interview with Blueprint Weekend, one the parents of the abducted children, Idris Umar, said five of his children were among the kidnapped children regretting that he lost one of them to the bandits.
“I have five children among the kidnapped pupils. The one that died is my child. His name is Hayatu Umar Idris, who was 9 years old. I feel happy and sad. Happy because four of them have been released but sad because one of my children is gone,” he stated.
Another parent, Abdullahi Doko, who is the father of two of the children, Salihu Umar and Maryam Saidu, gave God the glory to see the kids again.
He said that he was frustrated while the kids were in the hands of the bandits, adding that, “every day I worked on my blood pressure (BP). I was not feeling fine until today that the good news have brought down my BP.”
They confirmed that ransom payment was paid through contributions among parents and well-wishers including concerned individuals who responded to the plight of the parent.