Next NewsPapers Say it is now 350,000Naira Daily Sun says It is now 40million all Accounts are from the ever efficient and buck passing Nigerian Police .who now say the Kidnappers are Actually Robbers ! nice to know our Criminals now have choice of vocation
Kidnappers of the 15 pupils of Abayi International School, Aba, had reduced their ransom to N350,000, an indication that they are willing to release the toddlers from a tortuous ordeal which has drawn worldwide condemnation.
It was further gathered that the failure to release the kids on Wednesday was as a result of multiple negotiations which the criminals were taking advantage of, possibly to make more money.
Photo:Policemen looking for the kidnappers what about the Corpers kidnapped last week ?
According to our source, a hamonised negotiation has been adopted, which may lead to the early release of the school children.
The Abia State commissioner of police, Jonathan Johnson, also said yesterday in Umuahia that final negotiations were going on with the abductors of the children to effect their release and save them from further mental and emotional torture that they have been subjected to since Monday, when they were snatched on their way to school.
He confirmed that the children would have been released yesterday, but for some minor hitches in the negotiations with the kidnappers, even as he appealed to Abia residents to remain calm as the children would be released soon..
The police boss said the kidnapping of the kids was his greatest challenge and one which has given him sleepless nights.
Police sources said their non confrontational negotiation with the kidnappers was the best option, so as to save the children from possible harm hurt during a shoot out, adding that if the victims were grown ups, the police would have adopted a confrontational stand.
Robbers turned kidnappers
The commissioner, who said it was difficult for him to understand why anybody could abduct kids of between three and 10 years, added that the police and the government were working together to ensure the early release of the children.
Throwing more light on how the children were kidnapped, another source said the kidnappers were not initially out to abduct them, but had used them to escape from the police who had attacked them as they were trying to rob a jeep.
According to the source, when the police swooped on them, they ran into the bush and when they saw the school bus conveying the children to school, they hijacked it to make good their escape, but might have changed their mind later after escaping with the kids.
The Abia State government has condemned the abduction and called on the kidnappers to release the kids forthwith.
The commissioner for information and strategy, ACB Agbazuere, said in Umuahia that the action was condemnable, and appealed to the hoodlums to embrace the amnesty programme and quit criminality.
Kidnapped school kids: Ransom now N40m ...Parents besiege school
From OKEY SAMPSON, Aba, Taiwo Amodu, Abuja
Outrage trailed the abduction of 15 pupils of Abayi International School in Aba, Abia State yesterday, but the kidnappers upped the ante by increasing the ransom demanded on the school children to N40 million from N20 million. Contrary to the speculation on Monday evening that the school kids were abandoned in a bush path near a village in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area few hours after their kidnap on the way to school on Monday, investigations showed that they were still held captive.
When Daily Sun visited the school at about 2.45 p.m yesterday, none of the principal officers was around. They were said to have gone out with some policemen in search of the pupils, aged between three and 10.
A staff member who preferred anonymity confided in Daily Sun that the kids had not been freed and that frantic efforts were being made towards their release.
Some parents of the kidnapped school children were seen trooping into the compound perhaps to discuss with the school officials on the way forward.
When contacted, the spokesman, Abia State Police, ASP Geoffrey Ogbonna, said the command had been unable to establish contact with the school authorities. However, a senior police officer in Aba, on condition of anonymity, claimed they visited the school yesterday morning but could not get any concrete information.
According to him, “we went to the school this morning (Tuesday) to get information about the children from the authorities, but all they told us was that God was in control. Please, my brother, if you have information concerning the whereabouts of the children, give us so that we can work on it,” he said.
There were, however, moves yesterday indicating the children would be freed as the authorities of the school, with the parents, intensified moves towards this direction but how soon that could be remained unknown.
In a related development, the National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, yesterday, reacted angrily to the kidnap of the 15 pupils by unknown gunmen in Osisioma near Aba in Abia State describing it as callous and unacceptable.
Nwodo, in a statement by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, described the action of the hijackers of the children, most of them in nursery and primary level, as wicked and challenged relevant security agencies to fish them out and save the children, their families and the nation the trauma.
The PDP national chairman said such wicked action by anybody at a time the nation was in the celebration mood and many foreign dignitaries already in the country for the nation’s golden jubilee was not only callous but distracting.
He said the issue of kidnapping in the South-east, especially Abia, had become a huge embarrassment to the nation and should be condemned by all reasonable persons.
The last high profile kidnap in the same area involved three Lagos-based journalists returning to Lagos after attending a conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
In addition, the UN Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) has joined the array of those crying out against the kidnap of the 15 school children in Abia on Monday describing it as craven.
“Under no circumstances should children be the target of violence,’’ said the Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Dr. Suomi Sakai, in a statement yesterday in Abuja.
“Kidnapping children for financial gain is simply heinous,’’ the statement noted.
The children’s fund, which advocates everywhere for the inviolability of schools, hoped the law enforcement agencies would be able to find and bring the children to safety quickly.
“In all its work, UNICEF stresses the need for families, communities and civil society to work in partnership to protect the rights and well-being of children,” the statement added.
“Communities in which children are safe and well, are communities in which everyone is safe and well,” the statement added.