Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna State governor, has said his warning against negotiating with bandits has nothing to do with the parents of abducted students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka.
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The governor had warned that whoever negotiates with bandits on his behalf would be arrested and prosecuted.
Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in the state, said this in a statement on Friday, according to Tribuneonline.
Aruwan noted that, “contrary to the mischief in some sections of the media, the bond between Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and the parents of the abducted students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, and other citizens in captivity, is deep empathy amidst spirited efforts to secure them”.
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“The Governor will continue to work hard until banditry is contained, without succumbing to emotional blackmail and gradual politicisation of the unfortunate situation,” he said.
“For instance, some section of the media have been reporting the parents responses to purported threat by the Governor to prosecute them, which is simply false and deeply mischievous.
“The statement of the Government warning impostors who have been presenting themselves as Government-appointed emmissaries to negotiate with bandits across the state, has nothing to do with the parents or relatives of the abducted students or any other person in captivity.
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“It was rather directed primarily to some identified individuals exploiting the security situation in the State, and neighboring States.
“Finally, the State Government will not join issues with the parents whose pain we understand and with whom we share the common goal of the return of all the abducted students.
“The state government continues to work towards crushing banditry, kidnapping and other acts of criminality menacing our people and communities.”
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On March 12, 2021, bandits invaded the school and abducted 39 students.
Five of the students were released last week and the abductors have insisted on payment of N500 million for the release of the remaining 34 students.
According to the parents of the students, the bandits have threatened to keep the female students as wives if the ransom is not paid.