Kidnappers that stormed the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges have contacted the family of a matron who was abducted on Friday along with three pupils, a Turkish teacher and a school supervisor, demanding N100m ransom.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the kidnappers called the matron’s husband in the early hours of Sunday and advised him against involving the police in the negotiation.
This is just as the management of the school said it would engage the service of a private outfit to beef up security on the premises.
Some gunmen had invaded the college premises around 9pm on Friday through a hole they dug under the school fence and headed for the female hostel, shooting continuously.
They whisked away three pupils, two intending Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination candidates, who also worked in the school, and three other staff members, including the matron.
It was gathered that a combined team of operatives from the Ogun State Police Command, the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team and other security agencies had been patrolling the school surroundings and creeks, with a view to rescuing the victims.
Despite assurance from security agents and the management, panic-stricken parents stormed the school on Saturday to pick their children, who were said to have been traumatised by the attack.
A source close to the matron’s family disclosed to PUNCH Metro on Sunday that the kidnappers had requested the husband to liaise with families of other victims to raise N100m ransom.
The source said, “The kidnappers called her (matron’s) husband early this morning (Sunday) and demanded N100m for the release of all the victims. He has been warned not to play smart. They are insisting on the sum for now.
“We are worried, but we have belief in God. We hope God will touch their heart to free all the victims. The police are also assuring us that they are on top of the situation.”
A police source also confirmed the ransom to our correspondent, saying, “I learnt they have also contacted the school.”
But the spokesperson for the school, Cemal Yigit, denied any communication with the kidnappers, stating that the management was relying on the efforts of the security agencies.
He said, “There is no update of such (negotiation). We are in collaboration with security officials. We are being guided by them and we are doing whatever they ask us to do. We are not acting on our own.
“There are security officials everywhere around the school. We have security light. Everywhere is fixed with cameras. Every single step of those attackers is captured in the Closed Circuit Television.
“Everything is being re-arranged and most probably we are going to make a deal with a serious security company. We have also learnt to increase the security measures from the government’s side from now on. Our priority now is the safe return of everybody.”
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the command was not aware of any demand for ransom, stating that the victims would be rescued soon.
He said, “Our focus is to secure the release of the victims and get those hoodlums arrested. We are working towards that and we believe that very soon we are going to get them.”