Parents of the kidnapped students of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Kaduna State, have said they paid between N500,000 to N4 million to get each of their children released.
According to them, while some handed over the ransom to members of the syndicate in Kaduna, the rest of them, who were contacted separately and made to take the ransom to the kidnappers’ enclave on the Kaduna-Abuja highway.
They said the kidnappers also demanded that they bring maltina and milk with the cash.
“They called me yesterday (Saturday) and said if I am unable to pay N1 million, they would kill the girls, marry them or use them as sex slaves.
“On arriving Kaduna, we were told that security personnel were monitoring the bandits in the bush but, surprisingly, the bandits called us to come and wait at Abuja junction.
“They sent us a telephone number to call. We called the number and the person came to take us to a car. Unknown to me, the car owner was also a parent; his daughter was among those abducted.
“We drove on the Kaduna/Abuja road about 11pm to deliver the ransom and other things they demanded for,” one of them said.
According to him, the bandits also asked for crates of maltina drink and cartons of milk from each parent.
“When we got to Dutse, we stopped at a junction leading to the bush. We met soldiers there. They noticed all of us were carrying bags and we told them we were taking money to pay ransom for students who were kidnapped. The soldiers wished us safe journey to the bush and we parked the car at the junction.
“The bandits are very clever, they planned everything very well. We came back and picked the vehicle where we parked by the main road and returned with the girls to Kaduna around 1am on Sunday.”
Another parent said: “Some parents paid N1 million, some paid over N1 million, some paid N2 million, some paid over N500,000, depending on how each parent bargains with the hoodlums because they spoke separately with us.
“Some parents were asked to drop their money at a particular place at Abuja junction and leave the place then somebody picks the money, count it and notify those people in the bush. Four of us went to deliver the money but we didn’t know that we were all victims.
“After series of bargaining, they said I should pay N1 million, but I told them that I could not raise that amount. I told them I have over N500,000 and they told me to bring it.
“I sold my goats, pigs and other belongings to raise the money.”