FRESH reports from Niger State have revealed that the 27 Government Science College (GSC) Kagara students were only released because the authorities agreed to hand over four armed bandits being held in detention in exchange for them.
In what is now becoming a vogue, armed hoodlums, terrorists and bandits have formed the habit of kidnapping school pupils, knowing the outrage will lead to them being paid huge ransoms for their release. Earlier this month, 42 persons were abducted from GSC including 27 pupils but after intense negotiations with their bandit abductors, the students were released.
According to sources close to the security forces, a deal was only reached after it was agreed that members of the bandits’ gang being held in Nigerian prisons, were released in exchange for the students. After days of negotiations between the bandits and the security forces, the kidnapped pupils were released to a team of police around 7am yesterday.
However, the bandits demanded the release of six members of their group arrested at different times by security agents. Four of the six named persons, were identified in different detention facilities in Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states and released as part of the deal.
However the Niger State information commissioner Alhaji Muhammad Sani Idris, denied there was a prisoner swap. He also denied that ransom was paid to the kidnappers despite widespread reports that both concessions were made to the bandits.