The President of the National Association of Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTA), Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, has pleaded with the abductors of the students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, to spare the lives of their victims.
One Sani Idris Jalingo, who claimed to be the leader of the bandits that abducted the students on April 18 in the school, had threatened in an interview with the Hausa service of the Voice of America (VOA), that the 17 remaining students (15 girls and two boys) would be killed on Tuesday (today) if the state government or the parents of students fail to pay a ransom of N100 million and provide them with 10 new Honda motorcycles.
The bandits had earlier demanded N800 million ransom for the release of the students, but while negotiations were still ongoing, five of the students were killed.
Jalingo, who confirmed that N55 million was paid by the parents, said the money was spent on feeding their victims.
However, in an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Kaduna, the NAPTA President begged the bandits to spare the lives of the innocent students.
He said parents of the affected students and Nigerians had been gripped by fear and tension following the threat by the hoodlums.
“We were shocked with that statement on the radio (VOA) that all the remaining students of Greenfield University would be killed if N100 million and 10 motorcycles are not given to them today (Tuesday).
“We are simply begging them not to kill any other student in view of the fact that they are innocent.
“The deadline is really worrisome and we as parents, are concerned and worried over the lives of our students and teachers of the university,” he said.
He said with the hash economic situation in the country, it will be very difficult for parents to raised N100 million and pleaded with the bandits to have mercy on the students and release them.
Danjuma lamented that it was unfortunate that bandits are extorting money through attacking schools and abducting students for millions of naira as ransom.
He called on the government to provide adequate security in order to protect all Nigerian schools so as to avert further attacks on schools.
Danjuma said: “Since the kidnap of Chibok girls, to Dapchi, Zamfara, Niger, and Kaduna, many teachers and students are in a panic mood, hence the need for the government to quickly bring an end to the kidnapping of school students and teachers.”
The NAPTA President also called on communities, vigilante groups and others to assist in protecting schools.
Meanwhile, the Registrar of Greenfield University, Mr. Bashir Mohammed, said on Tuesday that the university is not in the position to make any comment on the threat to kill the abducted students.
Speaking in a telephone interview, he said: “It is a security issue and the university was not in a position to react or make any statement on the issue. All we can do now is to continue to pray for the safe return of our students.”
Mohammad Jalige, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, did not respond to telephone calls and a text message when contacted.