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The notorious kingpin of banditry, Dogo Gide, has released four of the remaining 11 students of Federal Government College Yauri after a six-day negotiation with their parents.
The four released students are Bilha Musa, Faiza Ahmed, Rahma Abdullahi and Hafsa Murtala.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that one of the parents and the president of the parent association said Mr. Gide fired the four students on Friday at about 8:37pm after collecting N80 million naira.
The four students were taken out of Mr. Gide’s camp on three motorcycles and taken to a community around Koko Local Government Area of Kebbi State after which another group took the students to Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.
Mr Gide invaded FGC Yauri in Kebbi state in June 2021 and kidnapped over 100 students and teachers. While some students escaped and returned, most were released after allegedly paying ransoms. Others were believed to have been released in exchange for some of Mr. Gide’s fighters who had been arrested by the authorities.
However, the terrorists detained 11 female students.
A parent, Sani Muhammad, told PREMIUM TIMES on phone that the students were released after paying 80 million naira.
He said Gide himself selected the four students to release.
“So far, he has released four. He promised to fire all eleven students the last time we spoke to him on the phone. He said that if they give him money, he will release them all. My daughter has not been released, but we hope they will be released soon,” he said.
The retired official said it took six days of begging and negotiating with the terrorists before they agreed to listen.
“You know he insisted on one hundred million naira but one day he called and we were talking and I told him the situation was tough and I told him he would cut twenty million so we kept collecting money until we realized eighty million naira. ” he said.
The negotiations, PREMIUM TIMES gathered, are led by one Abubakar, who is trusted by Mr. Gide and his parents.
Mr. Muhammad said the terrorists changed about three negotiators because of mistrust, “but he trusts Abubakar and we have no choice but to trust him.”
Salim Kaoje, the president of the parents’ group confirmed that the “negotiator” and two other parents are still in the forest pleading with Mr. Gide to release the remaining students.
“Yes, it is true that we have reached an agreement with him (Mr. Gide) to release the children and he has released four. This is our pure endeavour. It has nothing to do with the government. We sold our properties and got help from Nigerians to get the money,” he said.
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Mr Kaoje, whose younger sister, Farida Kaoje, was not among those released, said they would continue to pressure Mr Gide until the rest of the girls were released.
Some parents and negotiators spent several days in the forest talking to Mr. Gide before finally agreeing, but instead of releasing the 11 students, he released four.
“That’s why two stayed behind to keep talking to him while we took the four home,” he said.
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