The Kaduna State Government claims it never named any party or person to negotiate with bandits on its behalf over the kidnapping of 39 students from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Mando, in the state’s Igabi Local Government Area.
Mr. Samuel Aruwan, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, confirmed this on Sunday, adding that anyone caught negotiating with bandits on behalf of the government would be prosecuted.
According to the PUNCH, parents of the kidnapped students have reached out to influential people in an attempt to persuade Governor Nasir El-Rufai to do everything in his power to ensure that their children are released.
This came after a 48-hour ultimatum was sent to both the state and federal governments to effect the release of the abducted students by parents who had protested over their children.
The students were kidnapped on March 11, 2021, when a large group of bandits attacked their school, which was located across the road from the Nigerian Defence Academy on the Kaduna International Airport road.
The government, on the other hand, distanced itself from anyone addressing the students’ release with bandits on its behalf via Aruwan on Sunday.
“The attention of the Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Governor Nasir El-Rufai has been drawn to reports in the media that it has named members to interface with bandits on its behalf,” the Commissioner said in a statement titled, ‘No intermediaries appointed by Governor El-Rufai to negotiate with bandits.’
“The Kaduna State Government wishes to state unequivocally that no such intermediaries have been named.
“The Kaduna State Government’s stance remains unchanged: the government will not bargain with bandits or pay ransoms.
“Anyone who appears to be doing so in every way would be punished accordingly if found.
“Citizens are urged to contact the Kaduna State Security Operations Room on 09034000060 and 08170189999, or email email@example.com, with information of any individuals posing as official government negotiators.”
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