The Presidency has said Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State used repentant bandits to aid the release of the 344 schoolboys abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said this on Tuesday while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He said the effort was team one, giving credit to the military, police and intelligence agencies for the release of the boys. He added that no ransom was paid.
“In all of the things that played out, we must thank God for bringing these children out. The glory also belongs to the nation. I don’t see much conflict in all of these things.
“The security services – Army, police, intelligence agencies – showed good judgement and capacity by promptly responding to the kidnap of those students and then locating exactly where they were being held.
“Having done that, they quickly mobilised and surrounded the entire place to ensure that they do not go out and they do not come in. So, whatever followed after that is to reap from the gains of what has been done.”
“All of the leading actors said no ransom was paid. The governor of Zamfara State, who had a policy of engagement with the bandits leading to the surrender and renouncement of bandits, used reformed bandits –repentant bandits – to gain access to those that were in the forest and they had them (schoolboys) released,” he said.
“So, to the best of our knowledge, all the leading actors in Katsina and Zamfara States said no ransom was paid.”