Kidnappers threatening to kill Ekiti schoolchildren – Parents

The kidnappers of five pupils and four staff members of the Apostolic Faith Group of Schools, Emure Ekiti, are threatening to kill their victims should the parents fail to pay ransom on them as quickly as possible.

The families of the kidnapped disclosed to The PUNCH on Thursday, that the abductors had reduced the ransom to N15m.

This was as the police said they had arrested 13 suspected in connection with the Monday killing of two Ekiti monarchs-the Onimojo of Imojo, Oba Olatunde Olusola and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin, by suspected kidnappers.

Gunmen operating on the Emure-Ekiti — Iporo Ekiti road attacked a bus conveying over 25 pupils of the Apostolic Faith Group of Schools, Emure Ekiti, after closing hours.

Relatives of the victims in separate telephone interviews with one of our correspondents, said the kidnappers who initially demanded N100m, reduced it to N15m after negotiations with the families.

The families, however, said the abductors insisted on the prompt payment of the reduced ransom warning that the kidnapped children were becoming weak.

According to them, they also threatened to kill the victims, if the relatives failed to pay the ransom.

Kidnappers’ ransom

The Principal of the secondary section of the school, Boje Olanireti, had on Tuesday told The PUNCH that although there were over 25 pupils in the bus, five were taken away with four staff members.

The schoolchildren were abducted on the same day gunmen killed two Ekiti monarchs-the Onimojo of Imojo, Oba Olatunde Olusola, and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin, while the Alara of Ara Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Fatoba, narrowly escaped.

In an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, Pastor Clement Adebisi, whose wife, Mary, was among the kidnapped staff members, said the kidnappers told them to get the money on time while revealing that the children were already getting weak.

He said his wife was on the bus with his three children but the kidnappers took the woman away and left the children.

Adebisi stated, “We just spoke with them two hours ago and they concluded that we should pay N15m. They told us that the children were already getting weak and we should find the money on time and come and take them out of their place. “

“One of my children who tried to follow her mother was beaten and thrown into the bush. It was the eldest sister that went to carry her. She even fainted twice when they got home,” he added.

Another parent, Adebisi Jegede, whose wife, Esther, and daughter Ogoolami, are among the victims, said the abductors threatened to kill their victims.

He said, “My wife is a teacher and I was the first person they called and that was the second day around 2pm. When they first called me, they said we should bring N10m each to secure their release.

‘’When they called me the second time, they started to beat my wife and the children and kept asking for money. They threatened to kill them if we did not pay the money.”

Also, Oluwadare Oniya, the father of nine-year-old Peace who is among the victims, said the kidnappers were initially offered N500,000 but they got angry and rejected it.

Also, a source, who said that about N3m had been raised so far towards the release of the kidnapped persons, said, “The gunmen are threatening that they would kill the victims if the money is not paid on time. They have asked us to bring N15m for the kidnapped persons.

“What we need now is money to secure the release of our children and wives because we just had a conversation with the kidnappers. Today, they called four to five times. They said the ransom is now 15m.”

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, Sunday Abutu, said on Thursday , said that police had arrested eight more suspects in the forests in the state in connection with the killing of two Ekiti obas.

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