The nine French students of the French Department of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) who were kidnapped earlier last week have regained their freedom.
Confirming the news, President, Ahmadu Bello University Students’ Representative Council (ABUSRC) Comr. Abubakar Ali said he has spoken to some family members of the victims who have confirmed the development.
He said, “I just spoke with the mother of Grace Okafor and she confirmed that the students have been released. Thanks to all the Media outlets BBC Hausa, Radio France, vision radio and among many others who assisted us.
“I also want to use this medium to appreciate the great students of Ahmadu Bello University for their resilience and positive attitude towards the matter. We are all in this together. Our response to the matter might not be understood all and we shall always improve”
Corroborating the ABUSRC President, Julius Mutum who is a brother to one of the victims, tweeted that his sister has been released Strictly by family efforts and thank The Abusites for lending our voices when everyone including govt and security agents didn’t care.
“Some of the #ABU9 including my sister have just regained their freedom. Strictly by family efforts. Thank you @TheAbusite for lending your voice when everyone including govt and security agents didn’t care,” he tweeted.
The Chief Security Officer of the Ahmadu Bello University, Ashiru Zango, also confirmed the news on Sunday Morning.
“Yes, they have been released but I’m waiting to get the full details from their HOD who is in charge of the negotiations,” he said.
Mr Zango did not, however, state if any ransom was paid to secure their release.
However, family sources told The Abusite that the students were released Saturday night after a million naira was paid as ransom for each of them.
The students were kidnapped while travelling to Lagos for an academic programme. Their abductors demanded N270 million as ransom, according to Daily Trust newspapers.
According to the report, Dickson Oko, one of the students who managed to escape when the incident happened along Abuja-Kaduna expressway, said the kidnappers demanded N30 million on each of them.
Mr Oko had managed to escape together with the driver of the bus into the bush but unfortunately sustained gunshot injuries.
The driver, Nurudeen Mohammed, who narrated his ordeal to the newspaper, said he was conveying the students to the French Village in Lagos for their Language immersion programme.
He said they were trapped at the Akilubu-Gidan Busa axis of the highway when the bandits blocked the two lanes and opened fire on them.
While the ABU management confirmed that eight of the students have been kidnapped, the driver insisted that they were nine because he was conveying 12 students and 3 managed to escape together with him.
The Abuja-Kaduna highway has been a soft spot for kidnappers who have terrorized travelers for over three years.
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