Leader of the bandits who abducted students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, Sani Jalingo, on Monday threatened to kill the remaining students held captive by his gang if a ransom of N100 million was not paid latest today (Tuesday).
The bandits had earlier demanded N800 million ransom after about 23 of the students were kidnapped in their hostels on April 20, 2023.
Five of the students have already been killed, with their remains dumped in villages close to the private university on the outskirts of Kaduna.
Jalingo, who issued the threat on VOA Hausa Service programme said the five students were killed to prove that the state and the federal governments had failed.
He insisted that a ransom of N100 million and 10 motorcycles must be provided for the other students to stay alive.
Jalingo further disclosed that the families of the remaining students had so far paid N55 million. He said the money was used to feed the abductees.
He said, “We heard the utterances of the Kaduna State governor that he will not pay ransom to bandits to purchase additional arms.
“He also said he told his family that he will not pay ransom if any of them is kidnapped. So, we want to show that the Nigerian government has failed, that is why we killed the students.
“You will use trucks to carry the dead bodies of the remaining students. 17 of the students, 15 females and two males, are with us. The families of the remaining students paid N55 million to us.”
One of the students, Abigail Usman, who spoke during the telephone conversation, appealed to the government to pay the ransom and secure their release.
“If they don’t get the money, they will kill us all,” Usman said.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians on social media have lambasted the government and security operatives for contributing to problem of insecurity by “pampering repentant bandits".
“When they started pampering 'repentant bandits', I cried out. Repentance is unto God not man. Then they started paying bandits. Now it has become a lucrative business for trigger-happy fellows and enemies of our collective patrimony.
#Greenfielduniversity is priority,” Johnson Suleman, general overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, posted on his verified Twitter account.
A social media influencer, @aproko_doctor posted, “We created this monster currently, paying kidnappers and pampering repentant terrorists. Now some students of #Greenfielduniversity may pay for the government's inability to protect them with their lives.”
@IamBugzy wrote, “These #Greenfielduniversity abductors have gotten N55 million. How was these humongous amount gotten across to them? They are contacting the relatives of the abductees by phone and yet these lines can’t be traced. What exactly is DSS (Department of State Services) doing?”
@ayemojubar said, “Bandits threatened to kill abducted #GreenfieldUniversity students today, yet not a word from your president while his VP (Vice President) was also busy chasing Microsoft.”
Another Twitter user, @BIGGESTBOUNCING wrote, “The Nigerian Govt doesn't care about the safety of her citizens, I say this because a chopper could be deployed to rescue Chinese citizens instantly but our own students are getting killed for ransom and the Govt has been powerless. #Greenfielduniversity.”