The Nigerian government has promised not to let up efforts in rescuing abducted pupils and staff of a public school in Niger State, Northcentral Nigeria.
A terror group had Wednesday morning invaded the school and hurled about 27 students and three staff members to an unknown destination, Abubakar Bello, Governor of Niger State, had said.
Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, insisted that the Federal Government would not pay ransom to secure the release of the abducted students and members of staff of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger state.
Lai Mohammed was speaking against reports that the government had paid a ransom for releasing the abductees on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Saturday.
However, several reports stated the government paid a ransom to secure some of the Chibok School girls’ release in 2017 and the Dapchi school girls in 2018. Similarly, in Dec. 2020, over 300 schoolboys abducted in Kankara, Katsina State, were reportedly released after a ransom was paid.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari charged security operatives to secure the victims’ return and curtail insecurity across the country, vowing to squash all forms of criminal activities in any part of the county.
The minister said the government would employ “kinetic and non-kinetic measures” to combat the insurgency.
“You don’t throw away invitations to engage, but the overall strategy you keep to your chest. Bandits all over the world work with psychology of people. Deliberately, they target women and children because this is what will attract a lot of global outcry. 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.”
In recent years, terror groups have intensified their criminal activities, raiding villages, maiming and kidnapping while operating from their camps within the large swathes of forests straddling Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states.
Some analysts have speculated that the terrorists are using kidnapping to fund their activities.
Insecurity has put the West African country on edge as it struggles to contain Boko Haram insurgencies in the Northeast and communal conflicts in the southern states.
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