The gunmen who invaded Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi in Kaduna State, have rejected nine bags of rice as well as other food items offered by the school.
The Vice-Principal of the school, Wakili Madugu, said this during an interview on Nigeria Info Abuja 95.1 FM and monitored by Punch on Thursday, adding that he received a call at 7.30am on Tuesday shortly after the students had been abducted and was assured of their safety.
The school official said the abductors had demanded food items with which they would feed the students.
He further stated that the bandits said authorities had blocked their access to food and therefore demanded that the school and the parents make food items available.
He said, “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.”
Madugu, however, said the school did not have all the items demanded because they had exhausted almost all their foodstuffs ahead of the school’s closure this week.
He added that the school was able to make some of the items available but the bandits rejected them.
Madugu stated, “The school had no more food because we were preparing to close the school in less than four days. So, the food items were not up to what they (abductors) were demanding. So, we sought assistance from some of the parents and we did our best.
“As of today, we have nine bags of rice, one sack of beans, two cartons of Maggi (seasoning), two kegs of palm oil and a bag of salt. They told me to bring the items yesterday (Wednesday) and so I called them around 7pm and they asked me how far.
“I told them this is what we have on hand and they started insulting me, threatening me and they switched off the phone. That means what I have is not enough.”
The vice-principal said it wasn’t true that the state government had asked the school to close down before the incident.
On what efforts the school had made to ensure that students were not abducted, Madugu said members of the Joint Task Force had been guarding the school.
He said they actually engaged the bandits in a gun duel on Tuesday but they were overpowered by the superior fire power of the assailants.
He added that the bandits did not come in vehicles but actually marched the students out of the school.
The vice-principal added that the kidnappers had not yet demanded a ransom.