Security agents wished us luck as we took ransom to kidnappers – Family of 9 ABU students

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More details have emerged about how nine students of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in Kaduna State kidnapped last week regained their freedom on Saturday.

Recall that the French Language students were part of a team of 12 which chartered an 18-seater bus to travel to the French Village in Lagos for their French immersion programme.

The journey which progressed uneventfully however turned dangerous between Akilubu and Gidan Busa Road along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway when unknown gunmen blocked the road and shot indiscriminately at commuters.

The bus driver, Nurudeen Mohammed, who managed to escape the attack confirmed that nine of the students were abducted.

However, Daily Trust reported that the families of the victims paid over N500,000 each to secure their release in a bush near Maru village, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The newspaper reported that the families were directed by the kidnappers to converge at the bush.

It quoted a representative of one of the families as saying he conveyed N500,000 to the kidnappers.

Another family representative said his family paid N800,000 for his niece’s release.

He said, “If you are travelling to Abuja from Kaduna, immediately after the NYSC camp, there is a solar light at a small village called Dutse. By the side, there is a tarred road that goes into Gwagwada but before we got to Gwagwada, there is a road that will lead you to Maro village. It was on our way to Maro that we were diverted into the forest. We are in serious trouble in this country because this thing happened just close to the NYSC camp.”

He further explained, “We met with security agents who were patrolling the area while on our way and they asked us where we were going to because it was late at night. We told them we were on our way to pay ransom for the release of our relatives and the security agents wished us good luck.”

The bandits had initially demanded N30 million ransom from each of the families amounting to N270 million in total but reduced their demands following negotiations with the families.

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The newspaper quoted Christian John, whose sister, Elizabeth John, was one of the kidnapped students as confirming his sister’s safe return home.

However, he refused to disclose how much ransom money the family parted with.

Director, Public Affairs, of ABU, Auwalu Umar also confirmed the release of the nine ABU students but gave no further details.

 

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