The schoolchildren attend the Apostolic Faith Group of Schools in Emure-Ekiti in Emure LGA.
The pupils and their teachers were abducted while returning home in a school bus after school on the penultimate Monday.
Five pupils and four teachers were kidnapped in the attack. Their abductors demanded N100 million.
After several negotiations, the ransom was reduced to N15 million.
One of the pupils’ parents, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “The kidnappers insisted on collecting N15 million on Saturday, and we rallied around the communities, including our people outside the country, to see the ransom. They even collected a cartoon of tin milk, black bullet, fried rice with chicken, soft and energy drinks and tramadol from us.
“We were asked to take the money and the items to a bush in Ondo state, a farmstead called Ago Paanu, at about 7:00 p.m. It was between Oba Akoko and Owo. Before they could release them, they confirmed the money and those items. We walked through the bush till around 1:00 a.m. when we saw the victims.”
Another parent who spoke in the hospital where the victims were receiving treatment said, “The kidnappers were calling that we should hurry up. They said we should meet them at Ikare Junction. I wondered how come Ikare junction when they took the children at Eporo.”
She added, “When we got to Ikare Junction, they said we should buy food, so we went to buy rice and meat. We were about to get to the waterworks when they called that we should turn back, and then the kidnappers described a road that only big vehicles could pass.”
The parent revealed that “we decided that all of us should not go there so that they would not think that we came with policemen that could make them injure the abductees with them” and “when we told them we were on the bush path, they said only two persons should come and threatened to waste the children if we did not comply.”
“The driver of the vehicle and one person continued far into the forest and drove back,” she said. “They later trace the kidnappers to drop the money and the food. On collecting the money and food, they released the children. They used motorbikes to bring the kidnapped persons to the road. It was then they called us to bring the vehicle to convey them.”
The parent added, “The kidnappers collected N15 million. We (parents and families) contributed N4 million, and people came to our aid by contributing the rest. Those in the markets also made donations.”