Over 70 out of the 136 abducted pupils of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, were released yesterday.
The children were taken from the school in on May 30 alongside their teachers who eventually escaped. But on Monday the owner of the school said some of the pupils had died of illness.
It was learnt that the pupils, who are malnourished, were released by their abductors along Pandogari and Birnin Gwari boundary between Kaduna and Niger states.
A source close to Governor Sani Bello, revealed that six buses fully escorted by security officials were sent in company of the parents and school authorities to await the children at a location.
Speaking under condition of anonymity, the source said: “The pupils are on their way to Minna, the state capital, where they will go for profiling and medical.”
Although there is no official statement from either the state government or the Niger state police command on the release of the school children, it was gathered that the gunmen asked the parents of the victims to come to a location along Birnin Gwari-Pandogari road to collect the children.
About 10 buses were said to have been sent by the government to go and evacuate the children.
It was gathered that the parents of the children had paid N30million and 10 motorcycles as ransom but were still held by the bandits who later asked for additional N10million and five motorcycles.
It was not known if the N10million additional ransom was paid before the release of the children.