By Mohammed Yakubu
While about 200 students of Salihu Tanko Islamic School in Niger State remain in captivity for more than two months, Mohammed Sani Idris, the state’s Commissioner for Information has regained his freedom four days after he was kidnapped.
The commissioner who was kidnapped in the early hours of Monday, regained his freedom Thursday evening.
A source who’s close to the family revealed that Idris was dropped at Suleja from where he was taken to the hospital for a check-up.
The freed commissioner in a short video, while sermonising that “Allah has promised to put our faith to test”, noted that he has pardoned his abductors. He further urged his lovers not to castigate them.
According to him, the kidnappers who regretted kidnapping him were crying when he was about to leave them.
“They told me that they were contracted to kidnap me on the ground that I receive nothing less than N2 million from the governor monthly,” Idris said.
The kidnappers, according to the commissioner, are from Zamfara State, and they were told to kill him if he gives them less than N200 million.
Few hours after Idris was abducted, the kidnappers demanded N500 million ransom. Government sources say that the ransom was later reduced to N180 million Thursday afternoon, some hours to his freedom.
Despite the Niger State government’s stand on nonpayment of ransom, it was confirmed that the commissioner was released after the payment of ransom.
A source said that some valuables were sold to raise the ransom demanded by the bandits, adding that the government did not intervene in the ransom payment.
whatever strategy that was used in securing the commissioner’s release, should in the overall interest of justice, compassion, sympathy, empathy be replicated in the case of Tegina Islamiya children who have so far spent close to three months in captivity.”
So far, out of the demanded N200 million ransom, the parents have been able to raise N50 million after selling all they could sell.
Abubakar Alhassan, the school headteacher, a few weeks ago told BBC that the parents have now resigned to fate, as they can’t raise any more money.