Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has reiterated his earlier stand that his administration will not pay ransom to bandits in order to secure the release of abducted students, maintaining that doings so would mean surrendering to criminals.
The Kaduna State Governor has been under pressure to negotiate with bandits who abducted students from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, in Igabi Local Government Area of the state and Greenfield University in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
The calls became even more defeaning after five of the abducted students of Greenfield University, a private institution, were killed by their abductors.
However, a statement on Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, the governor insisted that the payment of ransom has not curbed criminality in the country.
The statement read in part: “Several states sought to negotiate their way out of the problems by talking to bandits, paying them money or offering them amnesty. This has not worked and has only encouraged the criminals to press ahead for a surrender of the public treasury to them. That is clearly not in the public interest.”
Governor el-Rufai, however, regretted the recent “kidnaps and killings of students from tertiary institutions in our state, and we sympathise with their families with whom we share the aim of the safe return of all the students. We mourn the dead students and we offer our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.”
He said further: “The ruthless and heartless resort of the kidnappers to murdering these young persons is part of their effort to further their blackmail and compel us to abandon our ‘no-ransom, no-negotiation’ policy. Are people bothering with the consequences of state surrender to hoodlums, or is the continued politicization of security challenges not going to make all of us ultimately victims of the insurgents?
“The fact that criminals seek to hold us by the jugular does not mean we should surrender and create an incentive for more crime. In today’s Nigeria, it has become fashionable to treat the unlawful demands of bandits as worthy of consideration and to lampoon people who insist that outlaws should be crushed and not mollycoddled or availed the resources they can use to unleash further outrages.”