Abductors of the 121 students of the Bethel Baptist High School have demanded foodstuffs, thereby threatening to starve the students if the items were not provided. The parents and management of the Bethel Baptist High School, Maraban Rido, Kaduna State, however, have managed to raise money to buy the food items.
A father of one of the abductees said the school asked parents to pay any amount they could afford as the school was in shortage of food items due to its closure. He said parents panicked when the bandits threatened to starve the students if the items were not provided.
The man stated, “The school has asked us to donate any amount we can afford. It is not compulsory but many parents are eager to pay because the bandits threatened to starve the children. There are fears among parents when they heard that the hoodlums threatened to starve the students.”
The bandits reportedly contacted the school management on Wednesday evening with specifications on the quantity of food items they wanted.
According to an official, the bandits said the parents must supply 30 bags of rice, 20 bags of beans and 10 kegs of palm oil. The Vice-Principal of the school, Wakili Madugu, during an interview on Nigeria Info Abuja 95.1FM on Thursday confirmed the quantity of food demanded by the bandits.
Madugu said the gunmen rejected nine bags of rice as well as other food items offered by the school. He said he received a call at 7.30am on Tuesday shortly after the students had been abducted and was assured of their safety.
The vice-principal stated, “They said we should bring 10 bags of imported rice, 20 bags of local rice, 20 bags of beans and then 10 cartons of Maggi (seasoning) and then 10 kegs of oil as well as two bags of salt. These were the items they demanded.”
According to a source on Thursday evening, the foodstuffs had been bought and the school management was awaiting a telephone call from the bandits.
The source stated, “We are waiting for their (bandits) call now to know where they want us to deliver the foodstuffs to them.
“We (management) have bought the rice and other foodstuffs (food items). We are waiting for the call from them (bandits) for direction for where we will meet. We have been waiting for their calls since morning. We have bought all the foodstuffs and all is set. The school didn’t make it mandatory for parents to pay, but some of them volunteered to give for the purchase of the foodstuffs.
“There will be special prayers tomorrow and all of parents are going to wear black attires to last for four hours,” he said.
The bandits had, at 1am on Monday July 5, invaded the school and kidnapped 121 students, who are mostly in Senior Secondary schools 2 and 3.