Islamiyya school children: We are negotiating with bandits ― Niger Government

•Rule out payment of ransom •Ban commercial motorcycles in Minna

Niger State Government has said that it has commenced negotiating with the group of armed bandits responsible for the abduction of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya school children in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of the state.

The government also said that it was not unaware of the ongoing negotiation between the parents of the abducted young children, but insisted that it will not pay any ransom for the safe release of the children.

The State Deputy Governor, Alhaji  Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, who stated this in Minna on Wednesday while giving update on the abducted Islamic school children, pointed out that “Niger State Government is negotiating the release of the abductees and we are confident that in no distant time the young children will be united with their parents.

“Government is in touch with some of the parents of the kidnapped children, they have been assured of the safe return of their wards,” he declared.

The deputy governor, however, disclosed that contrary to reports that 200 children were abducted, only 163 children including some staff were taken away by the bandits, stressing that the government has established contacts with the abductors.

He assured that all the children will be rescued and reunited with their parents safely, saying  “as part of the security measures, all boarding school in the state have been converted today system until the security situation improves.”

Alhaji Ketso also said the State Government has banned all commercial motorcycle operators in Minna, the state capital, with effect from June 3, 2021, adding that only private motorcycles would be allowed to operate between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:00 pm.

“These are parts of measures being put in place by the government towards addressing the rising security situation in the state, especially Minna, the state capital,” he said.

He reiterated the commitment of the government to support the security agencies with needed logistics to enable them to secure the state, stressing that “We have so far given 89 operational vehicles, 283 operational motorcycles, 30 bicycles, four tricycles in addition to funding the various security operations in the state.”

These, he said, “are in addition to 70 Nissan vehicles and 2,300 motorcycles as mobility support to the Vigilante Corps in the state.”

Some of the security arrangements so far put in place in the state towards tackling the security situation, he disclosed include: Karamin Goro, Sharan Daji, Girgizan Daji, Gama Aiki, Ayem Akpatuma I & II, Puff Adder I & II; 

He therefore called on all residents in the state to come forward with useful information on the activities of bandits in their area to the nearest security operatives.

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