The abductors of 333 students of the Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara, Katsina State, has revealed its first demand.
The gunmen reportedly contacted one of the parents of the abducted students to make their demand, TheCable reports.
According to Kadaria Ahmed, media personality, Abdul Labaran, spokesman of the Katsina government, disclosed the demand in a chat with RadioNow FM.
In a post on her Twitter page, Kadaria quoted Labaran as saying the gunmen have asked the parents to start making preparations for ransom to facilitate the release of the students.
He also reportedly said the gunmen also asked the parent to warn the Nigerian military to stop the surveillance of their hideouts to guarantee the safety of the students.
“Abdul Labaran DG Media for the Katsina govt just told @RadioNow953FM gunmen who abducted Kankara Students have phoned a parent and told him to begin gathering ransom money and asked him to tell the military to desist from air surveillance of their hiding place or else,” Kadaria tweeted.
But speaking on Channels Television, Defence Headquarters (DHQ) spokesperson, Major-General John Eneche, insisted that military action will continue despite negotiation with the bandits.
“You don’t stop whatever efforts you are putting up militarily for what we call the non-kinetic (or) the other approach. No, you don’t stop, all of them go concurrently,” he said.
“For instance, if they (the students) are kept in a place that is known, if you relax, they will slip out. So, all actions are on the table to ensure that we come to a meeting point and the meeting point is to ensure that we don’t get collateral damage in our efforts to get them (the students) out.”
“The troops and other security agencies have been adequately deployed to ensure that they (the students) are rescued alive, that is the most important thing for us. And that is what we have for the general public that there is hope, we need them out alive.”
Recall that Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State on Monday revealed the government is in talks with bandits that abducted at least 333 students of GSSS, Kankara.
Masari made this known when he briefed President Muhammadu Buhari in his Daura hometown.
While briefing the president, the Kastina State Governor assured Buhari of progress in rescuing the students unharmed.