The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Saturday, denied the payment of ransom by the federal government to secure the release of kidnapped victims by bandits in the north. The minister, accordingly, declared that ransom will be paid for the release of the kidnapped staff and students of the Government Science College, Kagara, in Rafi Local Government Area, Niger State.
The minister disclosed that the government is adopting some scientific strategies to tackle banditry and terrorism in the country. The strategies, the minister said, were adopted in Katsina State for the release of students kidnapped from government secondary school in Kankara, Katsina State, including the Dapchi schoolgirls in Yobe State
Lai Mohammed promised Nigerians that “government has put in place various strategies to contain banditry, insurgency and kidnapping.
“Some of these measures are kinetic, some are non-kinetic.”
He said that “All these stories about ransom, are conspiracy theories.”
Lai Mohammed further said: “I can assure you that the government is on top of the matter – but it is not a subject matter for television discussion.
“We didn’t get there overnight, that is why we can’t get out in one day”.
The minister observed that bandits and terrorists work on the psychology of people and deliberately attack women and children to attract global solidarity.
“That is exactly what bandits do all over the world. Solidarity in any form will not be tolerated by this government,” he said.
However, many stakeholders in Nigeria find it difficult to believe Lai Mohammed. In recent time, an Islamic teacher, Sheikh Gumi, has been visiting bandits in their camps in the bush, negotiating the release of kidnapped victims in the north. More so, there have been reports of suspicious script kidnapping incidence for unknown motives.
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