The Niger State Government has said it is not sure when students kidnapped from the Government Science College, Kagara, will be released.
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Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government, said this during an interview with THISDAY.
Bandits stormed the school last week Wednesday, abducting 27 students, three teachers and twelve family members.
Matane disclosed that the state government is still negotiating with the abductors for the release of the victims.
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“If anyone tells you he knows when the schoolboys will be released that person is lying; it may be today or tomorrow; nobody can say; we are still negotiating”, he said
He said bandits presented their demands directly to the state government in the ongoing negotiations.
According to him, the alleged highhandedness of the local vigilante was one of the reasons the bandits gave for taking up arms.
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He also said the bandits complained about being left out of agricultural programmes of the government.
“They said that the vigilante members were killing their people and that government should stop this,” he also said.
Matane further stated that the bandits complained about the destruction of their houses and the killing of their cattle through aerial bombardments by the military.
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He denied reports that popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, is involved in the negotiation.
“Gumi only prepared the platform for the negotiation. He is not involved in the negotiation,” he revealed.