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Kaduna, Nigeria: Bandits demand $622m ransom, or kill 286 school kids, teachers

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Armed gunmen who kidnapped 286 students and staff in Kaduna have demanded a sum of N1 billion for their release.

The pupils, students and members of staff were whisked away on March 7 in Kuriga, in Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna State.

A Reuters’ report sighted by DDM on Thursday quotes a community leader, Jubril Aminu, who acts as a spokesman for the families of the hostages, as saying he received a call on his phone from the kidnappers.

“They made a total of a 1 billion (naira) ransom demand for all the pupils, students and staff of the school,” Aminu reportedly said.

“They gave an ultimatum to pay the ransom within 20 days, effective from the date of the kidnap. They said they will kill all the students and the staff if the ransom demand is not met.”

Idris Ibrahim, an elected official from the Kuriga Ward municipal council, also confirmed the ransom demand and the amount.

“Yes, the kidnappers called the community through Jubril Aminu’s number and made the demand,” he said.

“They called from a hidden number but the authorities are working on getting the number,” Ibrahim said

He added that the security forces were taking “adequate measures” to secure the release of the students.

Nigeria’s information minister, Mohammed Idris, had informed reporters on Wednesday that Tinubu’s position on the kidnappings in Kuriga was that security forces should secure the hostages’ release without any payment to the kidnappers.

“The president has directed that security agencies must as a matter of urgency ensure that the children and all those who have been kidnapped are brought back to safety and also in the process ensure that not a dime is paid for ransom.”

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