Bandits who abducted some students of Greenfield University in Kaduna have threatened to kill the remaining ones still in captivity if their demand for ransom is not met by today.
In an interview with the Voice of America (VOA), Hausa service, one Sani Jalingo who claimed to be the leader of the abductors, warned that if the state government or parents of the students fail to pay a ransom of N100 million and provide them with 10 new Honda motorcycles by today, the remaining students would be killed.
This is coming as no fewer than 17 villagers were feared killed in a fresh attack by suspected herdsmen in Benue State.
The Kaduna students, numbering about 22, were abducted on April 18 when the hoodlums invaded the school about 8:30 pm.
They were said to have demanded N800 million ransom for the release of the students.
However, while negotiations were still ongoing, five of the students were killed.
Jalingo said 17 students, comprising 15 girls and two boys, were in his custody, including the grandson of the late Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, whose name was given as Hamza.
He stated that the families of the abducted students had already paid N55 million, but they had spent the money to feed the students.
“You are speaking with the abductors of Greenfield students. We heard the comments of the Kaduna State governor that he will not pay ransom to bandits to purchase additional arms.
“If they fail to bring N100 million and 10 brand new Honda motorcycles known as Boko Haram by Tuesday, I can assure you they will use trucks to evacuate the bodies of the remaining students,” Jalingo was quoted as saying in the interview.
He said five of the abducted students were killed to prove that the state and the federal governments had failed.
Jalingo described himself as a “food seeker,” when asked if he is a terrorist.
He also warned security agencies against planting trackers on the motorcycles, as his members don’t go to towns, stressing that arresting them would be difficult.
One of the abducted students, Abigail Usman, also spoke during the telephone interview, calling on the government and parents to pay the ransom “so that they will not kill us.”
Kaduna State police spokesman, Mr. Mohammed Jalinge; and the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan did not respond to inquiries when contacted.
Efforts to get the reaction of the university authorities were unsuccessful as the mobile phone of the registrar, Mr. Bashir Mohammed, was switched off.
Suspected Herdsmen Kill 17 People in Benue
Meanwhile, no fewer than 17 people were feared killed yesterday by suspected herdsmen in Tse Angbeghe Udam Aondoana and Agbanu Seghev/Ukuse in Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State.
According to Mrs. Felicia Anor, who survived the attack, the herdsmen came through Akpachi in Otukpo Local Government Area and launched the attack on Tse Angbeghe, killing 15 people while 26 others sustained injuries.
The attackers also blocked the Naka Nagi Agagbe road killing two people on a motorcycle while four others were injured.
The attack prompted a peaceful protest in Naka town by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Gwer West Chapter.
A pastor in the area, Mr. Sule Sunday, on behalf of the Christian community, expressed sadness over the persistent attack on the communities.
He called on the government to intervene. A resident pastor in the area, Rev. Shamange, urged security operatives to go after the attackers to disclaim the speculations that security agencies had compromised in their assignment.
An indigene of the local government and a journalist, Mr. Francis Ugbede, said the herdsmen had taken over seven council wards of Sengev , Gaagev/Tongev, Saghev/Ukusu, Tough Ateer/ Ijaha, Gaambe Ushin and Mbachohon Avihijme.
He called for increased security patrols in the local communities.
Meanwhile, security personnel have been drafted to the area to prevent further attacks.
According to the state Police PRO (DSP), Ms. Catherine Anene, the police are aware of the incident.
She, however, could not confirm the number of people killed.