*Says abduction orchestrated to blackmail governor over his position on negotiation
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–THE Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative,GOPRI,has backed Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s position that authorities should not negotiate with terrorists causing pains on the country.
The non-governmental organisation with deep interest in peace advocacy, condemned the kidnapping of teachers and students of Federal School of Forestry, Afaka , in Kaduna State by some bandits.
The group,in a statement by its Executive Director,Amb. Melvin Ejeh,
hailed the governor for his prompt response that resulted in the rescue of 180 distraught students and staff of the school.
It expressed optimism that the remaining 39 students still not accounted for would soon be rescued.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the kidnapping of about 39 staff and students of Federal School of Forestry, Afaka in Kaduna State by some bandits.
“We commend Governor Nasiru el-Rufai of kaduna State,the state’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, the Nigerian Military and other security agencies for the prompt response which led to the release of most of the victims from the criminals,”it said.
Expressing optimism that the remaining students will be rescued in few days,the group noted that the action of the bandits was to test the resolve of Governor Nasir El-rufai on his position against amnesty and negotiation with criminals.
“We believe in a matter of few days the remaining students will be rescued and united with their families.
“We,however, believe strongly that the kidnapping was to test the resolve of Governor Nasir El-rufai on his position against amnesty and negotiation with bandits,”it said in the statement.
According to GOPRI,”This show of uncommon commitment and professionalism demonstrated by the Government of Kaduna State and the Nigeria Military is phenomenal.”
“We,however, believe strongly that the kidnapping was to test the resolve of Governor Nasir el-Rufai on his position against amnesty and negotiation with bandits,”the statement added.
GOPRI, while insisting that,”The students were kidnapped to blackmail the governor and the Government of Kaduna State, said:”We are however pleased with the governor’s reassurance yesterday not to negotiate with the bandits no matter the situation.”
“This is the most responsible thing to do, no government must negotiate with terrorists no matter the blackmail,”it said.
The group said,”Governors must take firm position like Governor el-Rufail did and stand by it.”
“They must deploy every instrument of government and technology to defeat these enemies of the state once and for all instead of pampering them.
“Negotiating with this mindless terrorist like we have in Nigeria means empowering them. This is why we in GOPRI, are solidly behind Governor el-Rufai and his government on his firm positions.
“We wish to commend him for the state-of-the-art technology his government is deploying to solve insecurity problem in the state. No doubt insecurity will be a thing of the past soon in Kaduna state.”
“If all governors in the North put such similar commitment like Governor el-Rufai, insecurity would have been a thing of the past in the North,”
GOPRI said:”While our heart are with the government and families of the victims, we urge the parents and guidance not to succumb to the pressure from the bandits to negotiate with them but allow government deploy its machineries to rescue the victims.”