JUST IN: Bandits abduct ransom bearer negotiating Niger students’ release

JUST IN: Bandits abduct ransom bearer negotiating Niger students’ release
Parents of abducted students stand on Kachia Road that leads to Bethel Baptist School after 140 boarding students were abducted by gunmen in Kaduna, northwestern Nigeria, on July 5, 2021. - Gunmen kidnapped 140 students from a boarding school in northwestern Nigeria on July 5, 2021, a school official said, the latest in a wave of mass abductions targeting schoolchildren and students. (Photo by Kehinde Gbenga / AFP)

Bandits in Niger state have abducted a negotiator who had been sent to pay ransom to secure the release of 136 students kidnapped on 29 May from the Salihu Tanko Islamic school in Tegina.

The 60-year-old male negotiator from the community was taken because kidnappers said the ransom he brought was short.

Abubakar Alhassan, director of the Islamic school and parents of the children confirmed this, according to a news agency report.

The kidnapped negotiator was not identified, Premium Times reports.

Alhassan said the school and parents have been negotiating with the kidnappers who demanded 30 million naira to release the students from the school.

Alhassan said the school had contributed to a ransom and some parents sold property to raise cash given to the negotiator.

"We sold most of our properties and used our savings to see that our children are returned.

"Unfortunately after all the effort, they said that we did not bring the money as they required," said Ibrahim Salihu, father of two of the children abducted by the school in Niger state.

"We are now left with nothing and our children are still held captive," he said.

The police did not respond to a request for comment.

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