Alhaji Abubakar Alhassan, owner of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina town in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, has said the government is yet to contact the school authorities over the abduction of 200 children and staff.
In a voice note sent to journalists on Wednesday, Alhassan said the kidnappers have contacted him and made a demand of N100 million ransom.
“Up till now, the government has not intervened in the matter. The Secretary to the State Government got in touch through his wife, because we have a relationship her. She called me and gave the phone to the husband who said they were praying and up till now that I’m talking to you they have not come to sympathize with us,” he said.
He added that he tried to reach the local government chairman who told him he was making some efforts.
Meanwhile, the state government has said it has set the necessary machinery in motion to ensure the safe release of the school children.
In a statement, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, Mary Noel Berje, quoted the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, as also saying: “Government is on the pursuit of the bandits and efforts are being put in place to identify them.”
Describing the situation as unfortunate, the deputy governor disclosed that the Islamiyya school has three components nursery, primary and junior secondary school, adding that government has made contact with some of the identified parents of the kidnapped children and assured them of the safe return of their children.
The governor flew out of the country 24 hours after the abduction. Many had criticised him over this, saying it showed lack of empathy.