The Federal Government has said it did not, and will not, pay ransom for the freedom of the students and teachers of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State, abducted by bandits.
Read Vanguard’s report on the abduction HERE.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said this on Channels TV’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Saturday in reaction to rumours that the abductees had been released after the Federal Government paid N800 million.
Asked about the ransom payment, he said a categorical “no”, noting “we employ kinetic and non-kinetic measures. You don’t throwaway invitation to engage, but the overall strategy you keep to your chest.”
On what the Federal Government was doing about the matter, Lai Mohammed said: “I was in Minna with my colleagues, the Ministers of Interior and Police Affairs, the IG, and the National Security Adviser, on Wednesday, to get firsthand information on the abduction of these Kagara schoolboys.
“I can tell you that as at today that the government is on top of the matter.”
READ ALSO: 24hrs after Kagara school invasion: Bandits kill one, injure two, abduct 10 in Niger State
On how the bandits operate, he said: “Bandits all over the world work with the psychology of the people.
“Deliberately, they target women and children because this is what will attract a lot of global outcries. That is exactly what bandits do all over the world.
“The government has put in place, all along, various strategies to contain banditry, to fight insurgency, to fight kidnapping.
“Some of these measures are kinetic, some are not kinetic. We didn’t get here overnight and that is why it is difficult to get out one day.
“Criminality in any form will not be tolerated by the government. At the same time, the government has a duty to look at the underlining causes of some of these criminalities in other to address them.”