The Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Biodun Oyebanji on Sunday expressed his appreciation President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Security agencies and Ekitikete for their support which led to the timely release of the kidnapped pupils.
Oyebanji, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Yinka Oyebode, congratulated the children and their families, also appreciated President Tinubu for giving specific directives that put the search and rescue mission on top gear.
The statement reads, “Noting the traumatic experience of the children in the kidnappers’ den, Governor Oyebanji has directed the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Oyebanji Filani to take the children to the state Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti for proper medical treatment and post trauma therapy.
“The Governor, who kept vigil with Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele till 3.00am to ensure the release of the children, acknowledges the solidarity shown by his colleagues governors, former governors of the state as well as religious leaders and traditional rulers.
“He also thanks members of the Ekiti State Caucus in the National Assembly and members of the state House of Assembly for their support. “And more importantly, we thank God for everything” the Governor said.
“Governor Oyebanji also restates the determination of his administration to stamp out crime and criminality from the state by making the environment unbearable for criminals operating under whatever guise.
Recall that the school bus conveying the pupils and three teachers, including the driver, was ambushed by the gunmen suspected to be kidnappers on Monday, along Eporo-Ekiti road, a boundary between Ondo and Ekiti States.
The kidnappers, reportedly, later reached out to the families of the victims, demanding a ransom of N100m for the release of their captives.
But a relative of one of the abductees, who prefers anonymity, told journalists on Thursday, that the ransom has been reduced by the kidnappers after several appeals.
The relative disclosed that the abductors had vowed to kill the victims if the ransom was not paid on time.
“I spoke with the kidnappers today. They said that the ransom is now N15 million. We are still pleading with them to take N4 million, but they insisted it must be N15 million. They said we should not delay the payment because the children are already weak. They even threatened to kill them if the ransom was not paid on time,” he said.
The relative pleaded with Nigerians, the state government and the federal government to come to the aid of the distraught families by rescuing the innocent children from their captors.