Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Saturday, February 20, revealed that the Federal Government won’t pay ransom for the release of the abducted students and members of staff of Government Science College, Kagara.
Mohammed made this clarification during a guest appearance on Channels Television‘s ‘Sunrise Daily’.
The Minister made this statement in response to unconfirmed reports circulating on social media that the government had paid a huge amount of money to secure the release of the Kagara abductees.
When asked on Saturday whether the government had paid ransom or was considering the payment of ransom, the minister said, “No”.
Mohammed added, “We employ kinetic and non-kinetic (measures), you don’t throwaway invitation to engage but the overall strategy you keep to your chest.”
The minister also said the government won’t tolerate any form of criminality in any form.
He said, “Bandits all over the world work with the 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. Some of these measures are kinetic, some are not kinetic. We didn’t get here overnight and that is why it is difficult to get out one day.
“Criminality in any form will not be tolerated by the government. At the same time, the government has a duty to look at the underlining causes of some of these criminalities in other to address them.
“I was in Minna with my colleagues, the Ministers of Interior and Police Affairs; the IG; and the National Security Adviser on Wednesday to get firsthand information on the abduction of these Kagara schoolboys. I can tell you that as of today that the government is on top of the matter.”
1st News had reported that the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the bandit-ravaged areas on Wednesday after the attack in Kagara.